Wednesday, September 28, 2005


...instead of champagne and cavier.

I'm now a doctor of philosophy. The successful and enlightening oral defense of thesis was quickly followed by a rapid descent into the bedlam of gastro-intestinal infection, be it virule of parasitic.

In other words, I got stressed out. Spoke with committee members about necessary revisions. Passed. Came home. And fell ill to some germ making the usual rounds.

Funny thing about this germ. The absolute need to vomit is followed by...not vomiting. Thus, one's stomach remains for, say, all day and night twisted up in the gut.

Torture, from the Latin Torquere, to twist.

I'm now on day five of this trial by intestinal fire, toasting Schwepp's in small sips. And I've spoken with friends and family who have also experienced this unique variation on the usual gut wrenchers of a bug, stomach flu, food poisoning, falling in love, pregnancy, and waking up to a mortgage, mounting debt, and no paycheck. No, this new twist, so to speak, on intestinal malaise (the source of all social prejudice, Nietzsche said), is far more cunning and wicked.

The pain at first seems endless. Then a gradual relaxing of the stomach muscles. And then...a rapid contracting and cramping of the stomach. Still, you are unable to vomit. Back and forth you go. No relief. I imagine this is how a Raid-ed tree roach feels as its gritty six legs wind down and his overturn body ceases to squirm on the kitchen floor.