Man and a Garbage Can
I was at my buddy’s house in the early afternoon waiting for him to come back. While I was waiting in the kitchen, his roommate sidled up to me in a bathrobe, hair entanged from a deep night sleep.
He moved across from me, which just happened to be near an industrial-sized garbage can. An empty, industrial-sized garbage can. We started talking about this and that, nothing too interesting when he casually grabbed onto both sides of the garbage can.
And then, he started to dry heave.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, yeah,” he replied, removing his hands from around the edge of the garbage can… He took a breath, and stood up straight. “Happens every morning,” he finished up.
“You have the dry heaves every morning?” I asked, dumbfounded.
“Yeah,” he said.
At which point he grabbed back onto the sides of the can, like someone just about to prepare for an amusement park ride to start, and continued to dry heave. Out of breath, sweaty brow — yet nothing came forth. He stood back up straight, again.
“Ever think about seeing a doctor about that?” I wondered, trying to help.
“Saw a doctor,” he replied. “The both of us couldn’t figure it out.”
I pondered. Thought back to all the medical training I had received while watching ER and Scrubs. At least I had a good bedside manner.
“Well, how long as this been going on for?” I asked.
“About nine months,” he said, once again holding on for a third dry-heave moment.
“And, is there anything you’ve been doing differently in the last nine months?” I wondered.
He stopped, pausing. Thought deeply. Debated.
“Well, I’m sure this can’t be it… In fact, I’m positive it isn’t… But about nine months ago I started smoking about nine to ten bowls of pot a day.”
I looked at him, somewhat stunned.
“But that couldn’t possibly be it,” he countered. “Could it?”
Before I could answer, his fourth set of dry-heaves began. I figured I’d quit while I was ahead.