Though I'm not sure why, I have always, throughout my life, had a strange fascination with throwing up. According to my parents--and I have no memory of this--I was in the habit as a small child of toting around some kind of vessel in case of an onset of nausea, all the while asking whomsoever would indulge me whether or not I was going to throw up. I suppose this was an early form of paranoia, but at least I was conscientious enough to not want to ruin my mother's carpet.
Oh, how times have changed.
Today one of my students threw up. It happened as I emerged from the cafeteria, having just finished my lunch. The moment was perfect. The stars were aligned. There, bent double, was this wretched child, an impressive and continuous stream of brownish liquid pouring faucet-like from his mouth. My first instinct, truthfully, was not to call over one of the lunch assistants or another teacher, but to stand by and watch, to capture this precious memory, this shared experience stronger than any blood oath between two people, in this case master and pupil. Lest I miss anything, I remained by his side, my hand on his back, consoling verbally but in secret encouraging: yes, yes, let it out, young one, down to the bilious bottom reaches of your belly. And what a spectacle it became as he continued to heave, his gastrointestinal content in seemingly limitless supply.
The puddle swelled beneath him, and finally I felt that inevitable nagging twinge of guilt. I procured for my poor charge the proper aid, and, as he was escorted to the bathroom, I took the time to examine what had been regurgitated. Therein I found, swimming in the tide, several blobs of masticated tuna and a single hunk of tomato, curiously unchewed.
Was I myself sickened by this? Not at all. On the contrary I regarded it as a singular stroke of good fortune to have witnessed so prodigious a display. So much vomit from such a small person--it was a little rainbow in the most ordinary of days.