Vomiting at 12:50am

There’s a woman vomiting upstairs. She did it once, and I didn’t pay attention. She did it again, and – like when someone sneezes twice in a row – I noticed. When she continued, though, for three, four, five, six successive convulsions, I knew it was bad.

The woman who seems to run this hostel stopped cleaning the room on my floor. She came into the common area where I’m sitting. She asked who it was, upstairs or down?

I’ve never met the woman vomiting outside. I think she’s upstairs, just from the way the sound seems to be filtering through this window. I don’t know where. I don’t know where she’s from. I don’t know even why she’s here.

But I can guess why she’s vomiting. I’ve been there. I’ve felt her pain.

I think we all feel bad, listening to her. I know I feel bad that we’re all able to hear. We relate to hear more than we relate to anyone else right now in this hostel. For some things, like repeatedly vomiting in a toilet, we can all feel the pain.