carsick isn’t for the faint of heart

Date September 2, 2008

I’m sort of prone to carsickness.  Scratch that.  I want to throw my guts up at the sight of twists, turns, and dips ahead.  But I haven’t thrown up carside in quite some time.

Well, except for that time when I was 25 or so and had to say, “No, Ma.  I’m serious.  I’ve got the salty taste.  Pull over.  Pull Over.  PULL OVER.”  After which I proceeded to hurl in the most unladylike fashion on the side of the Natchez Trace as the cars whizzed by and dear old Mom said, “Alright.  Hurry up.  That’s about enough of that.  You’re fine.”

She’s known for her incredible sympathy.

But I digress.

Some friends and I spent Saturday in the valley where the sun’s more likely to shine.  It’s worth it once we get there, but the twenty miles or so of winding road that lead down the mountain are rarely ever kind to me.  So, I generally pull the oh-but-I’m-a-blonde-and-life-is-so-hard-in-a-coffee-colored-country card and get the front seat of the Jeep.  I’ve been pretty lucky so far.

Well, except for that one time.  Like last Saturday.

Twenty-three (or eleven) of us were piled into a Jeep headed back toward Manizales.  The treasured front seat had finally eluded me, but I managed to score the outside seat in the back.  You know, the one where there’s less fresh air and more dark smoke blowing out of the muffler that makes you feel like it’s actually possible to suffocate in an open space?  Yeah, that one.  Still, it was better than being trapped in the middle of said Jeep with no convenient projectile vomit escape route. 

Or so one would think.

Buried further inside the sweat wagon there was a precious little Colombian girl.  Her hair was carefully braided and her pre-ride smile was infectious.  I gave her a piece of green gum and we laughed at the face she made when she tasted it.  She sat comfortably in her mother’s lap.

And then we were moving.

With every turn and twist and tiny incline her sweet little face went a little more pale and then a little more green.  Her mother pulled a bag from her purse.  The girl cringed and then quietly purged into the bag her mother held.  And she did it over and over again.  Her precious braids bobbed as her head drooped and rolled until inevitably her face was pointed toward the bag again. 

Her mother helped her turn her head away as she tried to spare us all.  Then, she’d carefully roll the top of the bag down trapping the smell, the liquid, the results of her daughter’s misery. 

She slept restlessly with little droplets of sweat gleaming on her forehead.  She was understandably exhausted and my insides were twisted for more reasons than one. 

By the time we’d made it home, that poor child had vomitted more times than I could count.  Admittedly I might have missed a few.  My head was, after all, sticking out the back inhaling that muffler smoke- my own stomach frighteningly close to exposing everyone in the Jeep to a grown-up style of upchucking.

At least her mother was there.  There to pull back her hair and wipe her face and hold that plastic bag.

And if my mom had been there?  Well, she would have probably been saying, “Alright, that’s about enough of that.”

8 Responses to “carsick isn’t for the faint of heart”

  1. Sisser said:

    okay, yes this made me giggle once or twice but it also made me cringe and want to puke myself. eww. don’t write any more entries about vomit. okay, thanks.

  2. Blake said:

    Have you ever been driving a church van and had kids in your van want to puke?

  3. Lauren said:

    Bless her heart. I remember many carsick car trips. You see, my daddy thought that I would throw-up on purpose, just to ruin his vacations or to spite him or just for the heck of it–or maybe a combination of all three, I’m not really sure. Mama was always sympathetic because she has motion sickness as well. Anyway, I remember one in particular. I was 8 or 9 years old and we were on a long trip, I can’t even remember now where we were going, but we had been in the car for sometime and I got that dizzy headed feeling and that taste. I warned them. We got as far as a Walmart parking lot and Mama got the door opened, but she wasn’t quite quick enough. Instead of it hitting the pavement, most of it went right into that pocket that runs along the bottom of the car door. Mind you, my dad is the man that trades cars every 4 years and washes them 1-2 times a week so the new smell is still in the car when he trades it back in. Boy was he livid. Every time we’d go somewhere and I’d get carsick, he’d yell and accuse and yell some more. A couple of years ago he began to have inner ear problems and experiences vertigo and severe nausea at times as a result. He calls it horrible. Mama and I call it Karma.

  4. Deanna said:

    Okay Emily, only YOU can write about vomit and make it interesting!

  5. Summer said:

    You poor thing! And that poor little girl! I just hate even thinking about getting sick, but I must admit it…you make it so funny! I mean how in the world you can make carsickness hilarious, I don’t know. But you do!

  6. Lou said:

    I am proud of you! How on earth you made that trip without getting carsick yourself or atleast getting sick from the little girl getting sick. Gooooo Girl!

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