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I get home to find my window open and a pile of vomit by my bed. It’s 4am, I’m drunk. I can handle one but not both. I close the window, take my shoes off and go to bed. I figure the vomit will be gone by morning.

But when I wake up, it’s still there. I stare at it, trying to make it disappear, shake my head and then get up. In the kitchen, I find Simon eating breakfast. He says: Good night last night?

I think about saying what do you mean, but don’t. Instead I say: Not bad, you?

He smiles. Quiet.

I don’t know what that means either. Did you or anyone go in my room last night?

Simon arranges his face into a frown. I didn’t. Pub with Kim, then bed and a movie. You’ll have to ask Brian yourself. Why?

I take him through to my room, and say: The window was wide open too.

Simon says, it was there when you got back? Not after?

I shake my head, no. It looked pretty fresh too.

– Why didn’t you clean it up?

– I was too tired.

– Yeah?

– Yeah.

– Better ask Brian then.

We go to Brian’s room and knock on the door. We get a grunt in response, so I knock again. This time we get a ‘Hold on’ then movement. Eventually the door opens: Brian in boxer shorts and a t-shirt, hey.

I say, hey. Did you go in my room last night?

Brian scrunches his face up and rubs at his hair, I don’t think so. Why?

– Because there’s a pile of vomit by my bed.

We go back through to my room. Brian pulls a face, I would’ve remembered doing that. Why didn’t you clean it up?

Simon says, that’s what I said.

– Are you sure you didn’t leave the window open before you went out?

– Why would I do that?

– I don’t know. Someone could’ve climbed in, though, no, vomited and left. A cat maybe.

– You’re kidding, right?

Brian shrugs. Simon goes over to the window, opens it and looks out, there’s no way anyone could’ve climbed up. The neighbours would’ve noticed.

– Maybe it was them, then.

– Are you sure it wasn’t you, Simon says, looking at me. Came home, vomited, opened the window, went through to the kitchen or toilet or whatever, blacked out, came back. Maybe you forgot you did it.

I shake my head, I didn’t black out. I wasn’t that drunk. I remember everything: I got home, unlocked the door, came in, closed the door behind me, went through to my room, turned the light on and there it was. Window open, vomit by my bed. How about you?

Simon says, two or three drinks with Kim then home, like I said. You can ask her if you want. She’s still asleep.

I look at Brian. He says, I stayed in all night.

– Drink anything?

– Course I did, but I didn’t vomit. I’d remember if I did, just like you.

I stare at him some more. He puts his hands up: Seriously. And, anyway, if I was going to be sick, why would I go to your room? The toilet’s in the other direction.

– And you’d know that when drunk?

– Don’t believe me then, but I didn’t do it.

I look at Simon. Kim?

He says, you’re joking, right?

I say, maybe. I don’t know. Maybe she heard something, though.

We go to Simon’s room. Simon goes in. I wait outside with Brian. After a minute or so, Simon comes back out, Kim following. She says, drunk again?

I say, it was there when I got back.

Kim laughs.

I say, look, if it was me, don’t you think I’d say it was, don’t you think I’d remember?

– No.

We go through to my room, Kim leading, the rest of us behind. Kim says, it’s right by your bed. It’s got to be you. You must’ve been sick then opened the window to get rid of the smell.

– Then why would I have closed it?

– Cold.

– Any of you could’ve done exactly the same thing. Sick followed by guilt.

No one replies. Eventually, Kim says, well, whatever, you’ll need to clean the carpet.

– But it’s evidence.

Brian laughs, and you’re going to do a DNA test?

Simon joins in: Yeah, maybe you could dust for prints on the window sill too.

– Fuck off.

– All right. Calm down. It’s just a joke.

– I didn’t do it.

– Okay.

– You don’t believe me?

None of them say anything.

– Look, I got home, it was already here.

– Okay. Sure.

– I didn’t do it.

– All right. We get it.

I look down at the vomit. It’s thin and dry and crusty. I try to imagine being sick, but I can’t.

– Come on, I say. Tell me. Who was it?

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5 thoughts on “V is for Vomit

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