Warning: this story isn’t for the squeamish.
My sister lived with me for a few years in Tallahassee while she studied at Florida State University. We shared a two-bedroom, one bath apartment on the ground floor of a fourplex in a leafy neighborhood close to downtown.
One night, I roused from bed by a commotion in the bathroom. I found Mary on her knees, hugging the toilet bowl and about ready to be sick to her stomach. She may have been bar-hopping with friends that night, I don’t remember. And neither does she.
But love means holding someone’s hair out of their face so they can throw up without obstruction.
So I held her long hair behind her as she readied to vomit. After some coughing, her stomach contents heaved into a splattering mess in the toilet bowl. Mostly. Some material ricocheted and ejected into a wider blast zone.
The sight, sound, and smell of the whole scene triggered my own gagging response. I tossed my cookies into the sink.
Mary laughed hysterically even as she continued upchucking.
And that’s how I know it’s possible to vomit and laugh at the same time.
Photo: November 2012, in a taxi. The last time we coordinated to visit mom together in Panamá.