Henry’s formerly rose-colored eyes (now back to their regularly scheduled whiteness) reminded me of this story my brother told many years back, about a friend of a friend who had this disorder wherein if she didn’t take her special medication every few hours, her eyes would pop out of her head. This story is remarkable not just in the fact that he told it, and that I believed it wholly and without the teensiest glimmer-ette of doubt, or that I told it to all kinds of people, none of whom believed me, but that last year I recounted the tale back to my brother, who looked at me like I was criminally insane. What are you talking about? He said. Who? Eyes popping out of what? Why?
I wanted it to be true so bad that I argued with him for a while, but he continued to glare the glare of the angrily sane at me, and I was forced to give it up. So now I’ll never know. Either he made it up or I did, or no one did and I don’t really exist. Or this is a little like when I was eight and told everyone—because I knew with all that was good and pure in my heart—that Olivia Newton-John had once been married to Elton John. Thus the hyphen. Actually this is nothing like the ONJ thing, which I’m still not over because shouldn’t that be true?
Back to the strange maladies: I experience a nightly…experience (fuck it, I’m not checking a thesaurus) that I’m pretty sure is mine and mine alone. Please dissuade me of this notion, or at least explain what’s going on, o you who do not do enough for me already. You know when you’re falling asleep, and suddenly you’re falling but not really falling and you wake up just before your dreaming self hits the dream-ground? I have that, except different! And here’s how different: instead of falling, I’m suddenly overcome by intense nausea. And just as I wake up, lurching out of bed in the hopes of not soiling my sheets, poof, it’s gone.
You’d think this would keep me up the rest of the night—especially because I haven’t thrown up since I was nine and I have a little bitty phobia when it comes to the act. But this pre-sleep faux-vomit been going on for twenty-three years, so by now I’m all casual about it. Puzzled, but casual. And I know it’s been that long because I brought it up in eighth grade health class, right after it first happened, and everyone went ewwww. This was my classmates’ reaction to almost anything I said or did or wore. Or ate.
In their defense, I was partial to deviled ham.