This Easter, Last EasterI'm sure that all of your Easters were spent joyfully celebrating Christ's rebirth and ascension to heaven, faces glazed with chocolate or ham as you mouthed grateful prayers. I, too, spent Easter praying to God, but my mouth was smeared with vomit and I was asking the merciful Lord to please take my life. A savage 24-hour bug has been coursing through DC faster than an anthrax scare, and as you might imagine, I am a bit of a wuss about these things.
The morning just started wrong from the get-go. Somebody's car erupted into joyous song at about seven a.m. right outside my apartment window. One of the wires in the horn must have ascended to the realm where wires rest eternally that morning and left its others to blast a raucous one-note bagpipe solo to their fallen comrade.
After half an hour or so, I rolled out of bed, into jeans and right outside armed with a wire coathanger and an airtight plan:
1) jimmy into the car
2) open the hood
3) disconnect the car battery
4) return to bed for a quick nap before
5) awakening and catching a cab to the National Cathedral for an eleven o'clock service.
The car horn at close range combined with the sound of wire scraping glass fully blasted away the sleep-encrusted gossamer wrapped around my brain. I came to my full senses while standing barefoot in the street on a freezing grey morning, with both hands jiggling a wire stuck DEEP into a strangers' car door. This was one of those occasions where the truth sounds like a big fat lie and the cops staring at me would just make me blush and sputter from nervousness and look even more like a liar and a lousy car thief to boot. Mumbling cuss words at an accident-prone world, I ditched the wire in the gutter, headed straight inside and vomited profusely.
Whenever I am about to vomit, I hear this voice speaking to me that I never ever hear unless I am about to vomit.
"Hello again, Jeff," it says. "I'm the Ghost of Vomits past, present, and future. I bet you thought you could forget about me."
Other people always think I am moaning and muttering, but I'm actually having a conversation with the voice. "Uuuuhuhh...,"I inevitably respond.
"Well, I'm back again. And even though you know how much misery I am about to wreak on your body, you're sort of glad to see me, aren't you?" With this, the voice invisibly tangles the cords leading to my testicles, making my stomach ball up in terror.
"Uuuuhhuh," I reply.
"Well, take my hand and we'll have another waltz. I'll lead, as always."
I didn't leave the apartment all day. Easter was a painful grey light washing over a series of naps that followed waltzes with the Ghost of Vomits and his infinitely nastier cousin. I am, of course, wringing this experience for all the drama and sympathy it is worth. That's just my style. In hindsight, the situation was not one-hundred percent terrible.
My girlfriend is patient, kind, and a real expert at making me feel loved and cared for. Netflix paid off the previous day with a load of three movies, and the apartment took on an exceptionally cozy, cocoon-like feel as it gently bobbed and spun around my feverish head.
It was very like being in a small, comfortable spaceship travelling through a bumpy warp in space-time. In between moments of painful clarity in the stark white hold of the ship, I was able to travel back in time to last Easter and an altogether different sort of celerbation of life. Natasha was still there, and I like to imagine that she made the journey with me back to the other side of the world and Easter 2004. Sure, there was some discomfort and space-time illness, but we were going someplace fun together, and that was all that mattered.