I am presently sitting up in bed, sipping delicately at a glass of water, and breathing through my nose in a bid to keep it down. My stomach is having none of my gentle treatment. So far, things that have made it cramp this morning are water, sweet Lula kneading my belly, and someone's photograph of their drooling baby. I can handle poop, vomit, and all manner of bodily effluent, but for some reason drool gets me every time. You'd think that the fact that I grew up helping to take care of a multiply handicapped older brother who drooled frequently would have hardened me against this reaction, but no.
I was taking my mind off my cramping gut by reading stuff on the internet, and I came across Kurt's list of nemeses over at Monster Apathy, which has inspired me to make my own list of nemeses, because you don't live to be thirty-six years old without incurring at least the impression of having nemeses out there. The world can be a cold and brutal place, and, yep, stomach confirms it.
In no particular order, here are five of my past nemeses:
Michelle: At least, that's what I think her name was. I never got a good, close-up look at her. I was about ten years old when a friend and I were cutting across the park. We were late for supper, and so we were rushing and not really paying attention when we accidentally walked into this girl riding her bike. She was a couple of years older than we were and clearly insane, because she yelled "What the fuck did you do!", as though our little bodies could do any damage to her crappy bike. We ran when she showed us her fists, and for months afterward she tracked me down like a wild animal. I tried to dodge her after school and on the weekends, but she would somehow manage to find out where I was walking, and there she would be, fists balled up on her hips, jaw squared. She was ferocious for a kid in grade six, but she never did lay a single finger on me. I managed to outpace her at every turn. Being small had its benefits.
Bud: I am not all that used to dogs, especially big dogs, so when I met Bud at my boyfriend's parents' farm, I was nervous. It didn't take long, though, before he decided that I was his long lost love. Wherever I walked on the farm, Bud had his nose pressed to my thigh, and he waited for me outside the kitchen door when I went in to eat. It all changed, though, when Bud saw my boyfriend and I making out behind a bale of hay. He took to menacing me whenever I was left alone with him. He snarled, he showed me his teeth, he edged me into corners. Never again did I feel safe around Bud.
Goldfish: Goldfish? Really.
No more nemeses list. This is ridiculous.
I realized that I have nemeses out there who might actually read this website, so there's no way I'm going to list my real nemeses, and just listing stuff from twenty-five years ago is kind of pansy-assed. Oooh no, all the goldfish insisted on having their fins rot off and made me feel like a crappy pet owner for ten years. I'm the dick who kept buying fish in the first place.
The truth is, I have the flu, or some mild food poisoning, which is what I'm leaning toward, because the yuck-factor of this illness seems to be fleeting, and my brain is not working at top capacity, so I thought a list would help me write stuff down today, but it didn't. I just ended up getting all fist-wavy mad about some bitch from 1983, and then I fell asleep and dreamed that I was in charge of a hundred girls living in a dorm, and I used hand-knit puppets with wieners for tongues to lead them through therapy exercises. I woke up part way through a therapy session in which one girl's puppet's wiener tongue kept splitting and breaking off, and then I re-read the beginning of my nemeses list and thought Wow, I really need to get out of the apartment, so I'm going to do a little more work, take a shower, and get out of here. It's the best thing for everyone concerned.