I have morning sickness — and I’m homesick too

Welcome to the latest Summer Soap — a daily fictional serial run over 12 parts, which began on Monday and runs in the Evening Echo for a fortnight. Called 12 Letters From Home, this story was written by Luisa Geisler, of Cork city, and was chosen from work submitted by students of the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC. In this fifth episode, the morning sickness descends
I have morning sickness — and I’m homesick too

“Maybe I’m too weak to stay in Ireland, physically weak.Maybe I need my tribe, my people.Even though you are my tribe.” Picture posed by model


Dear Connor,

Today I threw up. Not once, not twice, but once every thirty minutes. When our new AirBnB guest arrived, I almost threw up on his weird Darth Vader t-shirt. Then I tried going to bed, but had to throw up before that. I’m not sure if it’s a baby thing, because there was some mayo in the fridge that had been in the fridge for way too long. And that was my lunch yesterday.

Here’s a note to myself so I can remember to ask you: is County Mayo in any way related to mayonnaise? Probably not, right? Because mayonnaise sounds French and County Mayo probably comes from some Irish word. But I can’t keep my head low looking at the phone screen for long enough or I get sicker.

Did you know some supermarkets home-deliver? I never knew that. I found that out while I was trying to find some sort of soup home delivery. I wasn’t keeping any food and imagined that if I tried making the soup, I would end up like in that gross sketch from Jackass, remember? That kid who made an omelette with his… oh, now I need to throw up again.

I asked our AirBnB guest when he was leaving for some ghost walking tour if he could bring me some soup on the way back. He was really sweet, but I think I was helped by my sickly paleness and voice that seemed to be barely hanging by a thread. Also, I probably had a little bit of vomit on my t-shirt by then. It was my third t-shirt that day and I was just tired of washing them. I was tired overall.

If my mother were here, she would make me some homemade soup with Brazilian ingredients, maybe some cassava purée. Oh, God. I can’t feel hungry, because my stomach wants to throw up at each of its own growls.

If any of my friends were here, they would bring me some basic home-cooked soup. If my sister were here, she makes some amazing lemonade. Why do I crave lemonade right now? Something about Vitamin C or something.

I guess it’s my fault that most of my classmates are Korean and make really spicy food. I guess it’s my fault that I count on you too much.

Our guest brought me instant soup. The type that you mix with hot water and make some sort of concoction. I thanked him profusely instead of telling him that would probably ruin my stomach even more.

While I waited for the electric kettle to boil some water, I checked online how much money I had in my bank account. If I sold my golden earrings and emptied that account, I could fly home tomorrow. Tomorrow, can you imagine? Even if I threw up all the way on the plane, I could be having some cassava purée by midnight, maybe.

When you got home, you said “poor you” to my day. You were happy with eating whatever leftovers we had. Some cold pizza. I knew you weren’t going to get fired, but had no energy to push a confirmation out of you.

Being sick makes you so vulnerable. It makes you face evolution in the eye. You understand why the weaker survived. You need a network. You need strength around you for when you are weak. Maybe I’m too weak to stay in Ireland, physically weak. Maybe I need my tribe, my people.

Even though you are my tribe,


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