I am a little kid and I am on a road trip with my family. It’s a long drive to my grandparents’ house, and I am reading a book in the backseat. The words start to swim on the page a little bit, around hour four, but I keep reading. And my stomach starts to hurt, and then that icky feeling starts to spread throughout my body, like this sort of sea-sickly uneasiness, and I sort of close my eyes for a second, and I realize that I’m sweating, but I keep reading anyway, taking a deep breath between sentences while staring at the car ceiling or putting my head between my legs. My mom looks in the rearview mirror and realizes what’s about to happen, and asks if I am feeling okay, and asks my dad to pull over, which we do, and I explain that my stomach hurts but I don’t have to throw up, a discovery I make while perched over a rest-stop trashcan, bracing for the inevitable which never arrives. They both make the excellent point that I have been reading a book in a moving vehicle for nearly four hours, which is a one-way ticket to Nauseatown, and I can see their point, and so I agree to put the book away and to close my eyes for the rest of the trip.
Except that I really want to know how the book ends, so the minute we are back on the highway, I open the book again and finish the last chapter and then promptly throw up everywhere.
I think there could be a lot of takeaways from that story: maybe it’s significant that I don’t even remember what the book was, let alone how it ends, or maybe it’s some clue about my future self’s addictive personality, or maybe it’s just meant to be one of those stories where your adult self empathizes with your parents in a newly discovered light.
But actually, I think it’s just telling that I loved anything THAT MUCH that I was willing to risk puking all over my parents’ station wagon rather than to just put it away. I guess what I’m saying is, if you find the thing that you love strongly enough to risk a puke-or-die scenario, that’s probably significant. Life is short. Hold onto that shit.