A Long-Forgotten Memory From My Childhood That I Just Remembered, In A Sudden Rush, Compelling Me To Sprint to my Laptop and Type This While Wearing a Towel Because I Want, so Badly, to Share It With You in this Immediate Moment.

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.

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41 thoughts on “A Long-Forgotten Memory From My Childhood That I Just Remembered, In A Sudden Rush, Compelling Me To Sprint to my Laptop and Type This While Wearing a Towel Because I Want, so Badly, to Share It With You in this Immediate Moment.

  1. I love this story and especially the take-away about holding onto what you love. I still don’t get the name of your blog, though. I’d be stoked if I wrote this kind of thing and I could share it with my mom. She’d be so proud.

  2. Great story – which I can empathise with, having been in many ‘get me out the car now or it’s going to get messy’ situations as a child. In fact until I started to drive, when you’re forced to concentrate on the horizon.

  3. That’s so weird — I, too, just remembered a few days ago the first time I got sick while reading in the car. (And have been unable to read in the car ever since.) At least your story had a kickass ending. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  4. dear katherine,
    i loved the story. youprobably spent all of your travel time to visit us reading a book.
    thanks for sharing.
    love,
    grandma

  5. Wow. I get car sick from just looking at a car even now, as an adult, so the idea of reading while driving makes me nauseous just from thinking about it. I know that’s not the point of your story, but it made me remember how my parents always had to pack an extra set of clothes for me whenever we were going somewhere. Good times! :p

  6. i can relate to this because i do it all the time even now on my tablet sometimes i get dizzy and my mom tells me to stop but no i don’t, only bookworms relate to the sacrifice you make to finish that book and see how it all ended, or perhaps that one chemistry chapter you forgot to finish and the test is coming up in an hour, you got to cram it up on the way to school, especially if your school is far from home and you live in the capital city of traffic Jakarta, Indonesia.

  7. I love the take on this scenario it’s such a great general life lesson with a humorous perspective, i especially enjoyed the title.

  8. well people do change a lot don’t they something thats so important at that time seems to lose all its value over the years, but we can’t even blame them entirely after all consistency is the trait of mules isn’t it

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  10. I really enjoyed this post. It brought back memories for me too. My mathematics text was the one book that could make me feel like throwing up no matter where I was.

    Funnily enough, reading for pleasure in the car only occasionally made me feel sick. I still gave it up when I was older, though, because it was interfering with my driving.

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  12. Perfect, I love it, I am all about the puck or die and to find out that it probably is deep rooted from a small seemingly insignificant childhood moment provokes me to go down memory lane!

  13. This was awesomely entertaining. I remember staying up late whenever the new Harry Potter book came out and never putting it down. Thank you for sharing! =D

  14. This is a great example when you keep forgetting the stuff you shouldn’t forget and remember the things you don’t want to remember. It’s like, when you’re about to leave home for a trip, you turn back and look at your house, contemplating if you brought everything you should. But when you got to the car, that’s when you’ll remember what you forgot..

  15. This is good. When remembering this from your past, its usually caused by a trigger. if you find YOUR trigger, you’ll most likely remember much more. try it! 🙂

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