A day with Menière

Tale written during the creative writing course of the Sicily Summer School 2019

by Ramona Aloia

The door begins to move slowly to the left.
God, no, please, not again!
I breathe nervously.
I try three times before being able to insert the key in the lock and enter.
I drop the bags with the shopping to the ground.I begin to rummage frantically inside the bag, keeping my eyes fixed forward to avoid any slightest movement.
"There is no cure", I repeat the words of the otorino to convince me that there is nothing I can do, not even this time. I just have to wait for it to pass. But how do I do it? It's the fifth time this month alone! How can I think of living all my life like this?
I try to keep my eyes open, but it's useless. It's already too late.
I fell into the White Rabbit hole and I'm falling headfirst
I find the phone and talk about the last call.
"Love I can't talk now, I'll call you later."
"Wait, don't close", the words remain stuck to my tongue.
"What's going on?" He snorts and I clench my fists, I hate to tell him.
"I'm afraid of heighs."
"Again? It is not possible! And now how the fuck do we do? I have to work, you know! "

I fell into the White Rabbit hole and I'm falling headfirst. 

I can't answer, strong pressure on my ear tightens my head in a vise.
"You wanted it! You wanted to go away and now you stand by yourself and wait for it to pass, you know it, we can't do anything, so don't complain! "
I threw the phone on the couch angrily. I still hear Roberto's voice screaming my name. I curse myself for calling him.
I stretch my arms, moving my hands in an effort to grab a chair. I find her and hold on to the porch, looking for the bucket.
I seem to walk on a waterbed, every movement causes me a strong nausea.
I let myself fall on the sofa clutching the bucket in an embrace.
The betahistine tablet has no effect. I wonder why I insist on taking it again.
An asphyxiating heat precedes the first retching.
Menière does not kill youThen the second. The fifth. I've lost count.
I feel the sweat-soaked T-shirt stuck to the skin that compresses my chest, tearing it with fury.
I jump up to vomit, but I push too hard and fall to the ground. I have the impression that everything is falling on me. I repeat that I am still and everything else is too, but it does not work.
I'm afraid, my heart notices and accelerates, the breath becomes shorter.
I'm exhausted.
I make a shrill scream, vomiting makes my stomach and throat burn.
I feel my hands tingle with the effort. I have the feeling of losing control of my body: my head, my legs, my arms, I no longer feel like mine. Is it a punishment, perhaps?

I see a crack in his voice. I recognize it.

I laugh nervously at the thought of having always defined myself a "balanced" person, with my feet "firmly planted on the ground" and now I find myself upside down, with the room spinning dizzily, unable to find a foothold.
It's a joke, isn't it? I say this aloud, perhaps because I hope someone can hear me.
I have no idea how much time has passed, but I already feel exhausted.
To my right I perceive a glow and I understand that there is a window there. For a moment I think it would be less painful to jump.
Menière doesn't kill you, I repeat again, and yet, I feel something inside me that would like to disappear.
"Be calm, stop it" I say to myself and with great effort I cling to the sofa.
I try to sit up, it seems to me that someone grabbed me by the shoulders and shook violently. I vomit again holding on to the bucket like a friend.
I take a deep breath, hold it and open my eyes: I see Van Gogh's Starry Night and his frantic brushstrokes, the kitchen of my house is painted in the same way, but I don't see the same bright colors.
I immediately closed my eyes, opened them, turned my stomach upside down and threw it in place of the heart, the heart instead of the brain, the brain instead of the stomach.
Even my thoughts are in turmoil.
I can not resist anymore.
An incessant tinnitus in the right ear prevents me from hearing any sound. It looks like the whistle of a mad referee. What serious offense would I have committed?
I feel the drops of sweat tickling my forehead like silent tears. I think my whole body is crying now, helpless, in its complete solitude.
The doorbell rings. It's Roberto. But I don't answer, I can't, or maybe I don't want to do it.
"Ramona open! You're making me worry!"
I hear the thud of the fists on the door in the distance.
"Now what the fuck am I doing behind the door? Explain to me..."
"I can't do it!" I scream, thinking I had finished the last ounce of oxygen in my lungs.
"Love, please try to open. I'm here for you."
I see a crack in his voice. I recognize it.
I stretch my arms and find the chair again. I grab it and lean on it with all my weight. I hit several times, stumbling between the shopping bags, but I manage to get to the door and open it.
He grabs me and lifts me before he falls to the ground exhausted.
He rests me gently on the sofa, then takes the bucket and goes to the bathroom to empty it.
"How sexy you are," he says, stroking my belly with a finger.
Instinctively, I stretch my torn shirt in an attempt to cover myself, I smile for the first time.
I fall into a light sleep and wake up constantly seized by sudden strings.
Seven hours have passed. I open my eyes.
The kitchen is back in its place: the floor, the table, the chairs, even the roof. The image is so static that I struggle to recognize it.
Roberto is still sitting next to me, peering at me with an uncertain smile. I know he's waiting.
"It's over," I stare at him for confirmation from my watchful eyes.
He smiles at me with relief, letting himself fall limply on the back of the sofa.
I would like to smile back, but I can only cry. "Listen," I say.



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