Tales From The Road Part I
by The Finn
I’d been lying in bed, in one of the nicest hotels in Chicago, for two days. I hadn’t spoken to my wife for a few days and the voicemail on my phone said that I had fifteen new messages. This was supposed to be a quick in and out trip to one of the chocolate companies’ satellite offices. Instead, it feels like a little slice of hell, complete with daytime TV, sub zero temperatures and the sickest I’ve ever been.
Marco and I flew into O’Hare a few days ago. We’d caught the red eye and been at the satellite office around 1:00 in the afternoon. We met with the onsite IT guy and gave him the twenty five cent tour of the hell that we we’re about to put his network through. He seemed pretty okay with it and Marco and I settled into out usual routine. About two or so in the morning, we decided to call it a night and asked the local where we could get something to eat. He recommended a Chinese place not far from the shop that was open all night. So Marco and I headed over for a bite.
The place was small, almost claustrophobic. Marco was by no means a small guy, he used to play semi pro football, but he was a giant in the place. He covered three quarters of the table with his paws and his legs and feet were actually hugging the pole that ran up the middle. I actually wondered where the waiter was gonna put the food, so I jumped into the table right next to ours. The waiter took our order and brought us our food. He and I had been goofing around and talking all day, so mostly we ate in silence, feeding the machines so we could get up in the morning and finish this mess up.
Once we were done, we headed back to the hotel and checked in. I climbed up onto the bed in my room and flipped on the TV, trying to unwind a little before I finally sacked out. After about ten minutes of flipping around the channels, I started to get cold, really cold. Wrap up in a blanket cold. “Aw, crap.” I thought to myself, “I’m getting sick.” A few minutes later I was in the bathroom, exploding from both ends.
I had never been that sick. Sitting on the toilet, projectile vomiting into the tub. Wondering exactly when I’d start to see my own intestines and which end they’d come out of first. I’d had food poisoning a half a dozen times before, but never like this. After a while, my insides decided to calm down a little bit and I was able to crawl over to Marco’s room. I knocked on the door, as hard as I could.
He opened it after a minute, bleary eyed and in his boxers. I shuddered a little. Not because I was sick, but because, even after all these years of traveling together, I still wasn’t used to seeing Marco in his boxers. He asked me why I was on the floor and I just handed him my keycard and asked him to check in on me in a few hours because I thought I had food poisoning. He chuckled a little and said that he would. I crawled right back to the bathroom and had a long conversation with the toilet.
Around 7:00, Marco came over to check on me. I’d been in bed for an hour or so, trying desperately to get some sleep and not move at the same time. Every time I moved I thought that the dreaded bathroom cycle would begin again and I was in no mood to spend any more time in that bathroom. He checked me out and told me he’d be back, returning a half hour or so later with a couple of loaves of white bread and some Gatorade. Just so I’d have something in me to throw up.
I spent two days in bed watching TV and throwing up. Marco would check in from time to time, but he knew better than to suggest a hospital. We’d been traveling together for a long time and he knew to never recommend a hospital or a circus. He kept me well stocked with Gatorade and white bread and called every now and again to "ask a question about the project". And, after a couple of days down, I finally felt well enough to walk around the room without vomiting every three feet.
Marco and I finished up on our last day in town, a few hours before we had to leave. And it was months before I even considered Chinese food again. Sometimes the road isn’t always a picnic, but it helps to have a partner to help you up when you’re down. Lesson learned.
So, how about you ? What's the sickest you've been ?
thefinn learned the value of Gatorade and white bread like he does everything else. The hard way. Archives