As anyone within hollering distance (and Skype gives me a wide fucking radius) might know already, I was recently and unceremoniously dumped. It sucked. These things never get easier. I won’t bore you (likely again) with the details of the relationship or its demise. But what happened next is actually starting to be funny.
I’ve always been an emotional vomiter. When overwhelmed, stressed, heartbroken, or otherwise at wits’ end, my physical recourse is always puking. After the long-distance breakup conversation, I immediately threw up. Following two long, tear-soaked discussions with my mom and my best friend, I threw up again. I went to bed, only to lie sleepless all night as my elbows were mysteriously aching. I finally dozed off at six a.m. and slept through my alarm, which was problematic as I was supposed to be giving a final exam to my students at eight a.m. I awoke and in a frenzy tried to make something of my pukey, swollen face. I was starving, so I pounded a raspberry smoothie. Bad idea. By the time I was scurrying through the frozen streets to my métro stop, hazy recollections of the breakup conversation came swimming into my head and I was overcome with nausea. I ran to barf on what I thought was a pile of trash nestled underneath one of the support beams of the Centre Pompidou. It was only after I had begun throwing up that I realized that I was puking on a half-frozen homeless guy who had taken refuge under all the trash. Horrified, I tried to back off and apologize, but I was still throwing up. As I staggered backwards, I proceeded to puke PINK BARF all over my peacoat, jeans, and shoes. Finally finishing up and mortified, I thrust a wad of cash at the poor guy, who was totally confused and upset by this rude awakening. Realizing that I was already late for class, I then made the incredibly dubious decision to CONTINUE GOING TO WORK COVERED IN PUKE. If you think that the French are ungenerous in their stares on the métro, try going on the train covered in pink vomit.
Thankfully the class I was proctoring was a loveable bunch I call the Tuesday Six, a bright and articulate group of kids who look like a Benetton ad for a fresh-faced multicultural future. Aghast at my appearance, one of my students inquired as to what had happened to me. Asshole that I am, I managed to whip up a story about how I had been spontaneously puked on by a homeless man in the métro station. It’s a good thing I don’t believe in karma.
Later, my friend B walked me home from work and high-fived me when we passed the frozen pink puddle that I had made earlier in the day. It was the kindest thing anyone had done for me in a long time.