Alibi V.13 No.13 • March 25-31, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

There is a certain kind of relief found by throwing up. Like its bodily function cousins the sneeze and the orgasm, vomiting is the culmination of a sometimes lengthy lead-up—though in vomit's case, the lead up and release are much, much less enjoyable. Of course this pertains to the I-should-never-have-eaten-from-that-taco-stand kind of terrible food poisoning retch, or the I-would-rather-die-than-live-like-this variety of convulsive hurling, rather than the sudden surprise of the what?-I-only-did-three-beer-bongs sort of projectile upchuck. Most drunken barfing (like most other bodily functions that occur while drunk) is subdued by numbed nerves and doesn't have the same kind of painful prelude or remission. But when you're really sick and the body is telling you to purge, dammit, purge! there often comes this rebellious sense of reluctance, a back-pedaling of the intestinal tract. The gut warns that it is prepared to eliminate all offending contents but the brain says no, no, no! Batten down the hatches! Which is silly, really, because the post-vomit sensation of cool porcelain snuggled up against your hot cheek is the best feeling you'll have had all day. So embrace retching, I say. Be one with your nausea and approach the coming heave with at least the same casual disregard you would a sneeze or at best, with something more like eager gusto.