I hear a sound like whale songs coming from inside my husband….from across the room!! “ Are you o.k.?” I ask.
“I think I may have food poisoning.” He answers, green.
“You know that Panini you brought me for lunch? I checked the expiration on it. It was 7 months old.”
“That was a frozen Panini—purchased frozen and kept frozen. Why…. did it taste bad?” I ask.
“Yes, I ate half of it and then threw the rest out.” I feel very sorry, but don’t want to believe it, so I keep questioning him, hoping for some inconsistency---the AH-HA moment where I can blame a rotten breakfast burrito or a bad donut from the lunch truck. The more I question him the sicker he looks and the more it seems like the Panini and I, by association, are guilty.
Fred is never sick, but he is sick now. He stayed home from work and slept most of the day. I see new laundry lying in the bathroom in a heap, the fan in the bathroom on “constant”. The resulting air in our room is yellow and I cut a pathway through it with sprays of perfume from a bottle, wielded like a machete. Something is not right with him. Geez, did I really poison him? I’ve never experienced someone with SUCH bad stomach flu. Testimony to how great a caregiver I am--I slept in Krista’s room for three nights—afraid that I would somehow be barfed on in my sleep.
“How are you feeling this morning?”
“I think if it were the Panini, you’d have been throwing up.” I offer.
“I think it was the Panini.”
“I didn’t try to kill you, you know—if I had tried to kill you, you’d be dead.” I say.
“I know.” Fred coughs.
My daughter is playing Webkins in the room off our bedroom later that day. Fred is asleep again in our bed. I’m in the living room, and I see her exit our bedroom holding her nose. “Daddy just farted for 2 minutes solid,” she reports, “that’s a long time.” This reminds me of one of my favorite Krista-isms from years ago when she smelled something bad. She said, “It’s awful in my nose.”
Fred goes to the doctor a day later for tests. He was that sick. He returns home with all the ideas the doctor gave him as to what happened to his intestines—bacteria, flu bug, all those. “So, which one do they think it is?” I ask eagerly.
“Well, they think it may be food poisoning.”
“Gosh I’m sorry honey. I really think they’re (Paninis) delicious.”
“O.k. could you stop mentioning them now?”
Yesterday the doctor’s office called. Inconclusive. He is feeling much better and the tests show no sign of food poisoning. The Panini and I, by association, are….innocent!
(Fred is not his real name. Fred wanted me to delete some lines he felt embarrassed him, so I did and then decided to change his name to protect his identity. Fred would appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone he farts.)