Gladys and Kahuna slept the sleep of parents. A sleep in which every creak or groan, cough and hiccup awakens you from a sound sleep to jumping up looking for the boogeyman or at the very least the boogeyman’s throw up. Gladys jumped and looked at the extra large numbers on the clock. The green glow read 2:22. She settled back on the pillow and closed her eyes tight trying to will herself back into the land of slumber. Kahuna rolled over patted her arm and began his ascent into dreamland.
The warm wash of sleep swept over the couple and the night became still and quiet. Then through the silence came that sound that makes mother’s ears perk and fathers duck under the covers. It was the sound of horking. If you are a parent or a pet owner, you know the sound of which I speak. The sound that breaks through the night causing you to leap from the bed in which you share with said child or pet, switching in on lights and grabbing towels. You begin the search for the pile of puke in a futile effort to clean it up before it soaks into the mattress.
All of a sudden you are a ninja warrior, flipping and leaping wiping as you go. Your partner snatches the offending creature from mid-hork and carries them gingerly but quickly to place where they can safely retch their guts without offending your sleeping place. In mere minutes you have managed to completely undress the bed and redress it with clean linens as you carefully wad the wretched fouled sheets into a ball keeping the effluent away from you, the bed and the floor. Then as deftly as you cleared the bed you are washing the foulness down the drain.
Your partner is not sitting to the side sleepy eyed and waiting. Nay they are dealing with the poor child, four legged or two, who has now managed to expel three days’ worth of intake onto the bathroom floor. Your partner has their own choreography of dancing around the pile of vomit gathering paper towels while still holding on to the patient and wiping up with their feet. They chasse’, pirouette and plié’ while wiping the face and patting the back of the sufferer.
Finally all is clean and all is calm. They settle back into clean sheets still cool from the early morning. The invalid between them on a towel with a bucket close by. You look at the clock and it now reads 2:28. You have performed the vomit ballet in six minutes. You wait for your heart to stop racing and you take deep breaths. You realize at 2:46 that you are waiting in anticipation for the initial horking sound and sleep will not return.
It is in those moments that you realize that you will not be sleeping and you reach to check the poor offending soul who has sprung you from slumber and they let out a long low snore.