I luxuriated at having the opportunity to drink half the pot of coffee before my husband appeared to greet the day. Normally he is up and at ’em when I appear groggy and barefooted at the coffee maker, stumbling in semi-darkness to secure what might remain of the brew. Sometimes he gets up so very early the remains in the carafe are somewhat ‘aged’ and the delicate taste of burned coffee leaves me speechless. In all actuality the dregs is usually what I awake to.
Putting aside my selfish desires I decided it might not be a bad idea to check on him. I found him lying flat on his stomach, blankets pulled over his head with only his mouth and nose peeking out. He was breathing. “Are you feeling ok?” I asked. “I think I had food poisoning,” he responded, ” It must have been what we had for dinner last night. I was up every hour on the hour spewing my guts out and then blowing everything out the opposite end.”
I hesitated before taking the fall for accidentally attempting to murder my spouse with food. It has been my unfortunate experience to have had food poisoning on two separate occasions. If the food had been bad, and I did eat it, I would have been up all night doing the same revolting activities. But I hadn’t. I’d slept peacefully through the night, so soundly I never heard a peep much the less a call for ralph from the bathroom.
“No my darling, I did not poison you.” Despite that knowledge, I still felt suspicious enough to throw out the leftovers. Too bad, it was a very tasty pork stir-fry.
I love my hubby very much. Yes, there are times when accidental poisoning might seem convenient, but I would never be so careless that I could hurt him.
While I was clearing the refrigerator of potential harm and giving the kitchen a good go round of sanitizing, and yes, I was singing to myself, it struck me: I will be next.
I lived in the Florida Keys for eighteen years. Not just paradise for the weary, that part of the country seemed to gift me with numerous cases of dysentery and stomach flu. Tourism was my trade and I received what ever bug our visitors brought with them on vacation. I have been left with reminders of my stomach pounding to the rhythm of the bass drum in a military march. I’m fairly susceptible to every gastrointestinal distress floating around the near atmosphere. I avoid the tuna salad in a buffet as if it were time to pay more taxes. I wash my hands. I avoid contact with those afflicted with tummy woes. When I worked as a conductor on a train traveling to the top of Pikes Peak I handed out the barf bags like they were candy on Halloween night. When it comes to feeling lousy, I sure can empathize.
Despite avoiding the mister like plague for a day or two, I found myself up in the middle of that night reliving the agonies of my past life and begging for it all to stop. It was pretty groddy and I will dispense with the sordid details. The heavens were kind to me and it did seem to cease sooner than I am accustomed and mentally prepared for. I spent a day in bed feeling the rhythm of John Philip Souza’s crashing cymbals and trying to forget away the discomfort. Still reeling and not at all hungry, I spent another day recuperating with full command of the remote control and a good dose of Netflix. I sipped water, and didn’t attempt eating until the following day.
Neither my husband nor I cared to cook, so he took me out to breakfast. I was a bit shaky, certainly not clear headed enough to make good choices at the restaurant. He must have known what he wanted to eat when he asked me out. I was empty and the selection plentiful. My decision was French toast, comfort food and what I estimated to be easy on my practically virgin insides. Trying to recall if oj contains any electrolytes I ordered that, too. I still don’t know for sure. What was for sure was the sloshing I felt on the post breakfast Sunday drive up the curvy pass towards the mountains.
I gave forgetting the mistake of a meal a go and tried to make the best of the beautiful Colorado Sunny day with views right before me of both the Sangre de Cristo and Sawatch Mountain Ranges. The mountains soaring to heights above fourteen thousand feet were topped in pure white snow, impossible to look at without the help of some good sunglasses. The mister took up a conversation with some visitors from New Jersey and before I knew it we were heading to their newly purchased property. We hiked up their ‘driveway’ a cut uphill of about a nineteen percent grade. The snow was deep, the newly exposed soil soft, but I made it to the top without falling over or asking for a hand. I was astounded at their property, a good find with a private reservoir and access to a public one. I spotted either Sheep mountain or Sentinel peak on Pikes Peak south face, pretty proud of my local knowledge even though I wasn’t so proud to have eaten French toast with syrup.
When we hiked down their hill I spotted different piles of animal scat. I really did not plan to be amongst the animals leaving a mark. Fortunately, I made it to the car and the hour drive home without incident. At that point I was actually hungry for spaghetti and meatballs.
I had a relapse that night. I began to think I was dying, never to recover, never to eat again, never to get off the pot and stay off for an extended period of time. I had a great time envisioning my send-off, making peace with myself for my faults and trespasses, seeing my beloved spreading my ashes as I have directed. Sometime during my rerun he called up the stairs, “Do you want me to save you some coffee?”.
And so another day has come and gone. I am on the mend, my plans to meet up with the loved ones who have gone before me are shelved. I’m not going to have to make dinner, the mister is having rerun pizza. There is are a couple of bright spots in all of this: I’m still not very hungry and I did lose six pounds. And no, my dear, he did not poison me.