Wednesday, November 9, 2011
When I was living in New York while interning at Letterman for a semester, my brothers came to visit. This was 2000, and I actually lived across the Hudson from Manhattan in Fairview, New Jersey. To the dismay of my roommate I shared a 400 square foot studio apartment with, I had had a lot of visitors during those four months. I was excited for them to visit, Scott was 16 and Jon was 20 at the time.
If you need to know one characteristic of the Houghton family, know this one word, motion-sickness. It’s got to be genetic because we all share it in varying levels. I’ve never been to an amusement park once with my family, the swingset in the backyard was enough to dissuade us. Family vacations to Door County, Wisconsin involved a lot of driving, and would often be an extreme challenge in who could get the least nauseated. Winning that challenge is like being crowned the most intellectual Kardashian. The point is, we, as a people, get sick easily from motion.
My brothers’ trip to New York started with a drive to the airport, followed by a flight, followed by a shuttle from the bus station, and finally, a bus ride to New Jersey. The public buses from NY to NJ were actually pretty nice, they were more charter bus, and less city bus, but that does very little to affect the motion of the great beast.
Scott had done a great job of holding it together through all of the various modes of transportation, as I’m sure he was getting sweaty and light headed and woozy. He was doing great until he reached New Jersey when he couldn’t take it anymore.
He realized he had to just vomit.
So he did.
He vomited as inconspicuously as he could on a public bus, no one really noticed. He and Jon just sat with fresh vomit on the floor by their feet and the aisle.
The very unpredictable motion that caused the nausea, that led to the vomit, was also the culprit in moving the vomit around on the floor. When the bus would stop, the vomit would slosh forward, and when it would speed up, it would slosh back. When the bus would turn, the vomit would slosh side to side, eventually ending in the aisle. Like seeing a car crash in slow motion, my sickly brothers were left to watch in quiet horror as people’s shoes would unknowingly dance around and in Scott’s now liquid breakfast.
Eventually, they made it to their stop and got off leaving the vomit for someone else to find and speculate about.
Today, I rode the bus to get to the subway to get home. I had ridden my bike down Wilton, a street with some good old houses on it into Southern Los Angeles. I came to Crenshaw and recognized the name from gangsta rap songs (I have a rule that if I recognize an area only from a gangsta rap song, I head the other way). I rode over to USC, and then hopped on a bus to grab the subway to ride home. I get giddy getting on a bus, somehow I feel grownup and urban and cool. Plus, I got to throw my bike on the front of the bus, which made me extra cool.
Throwing your bike on the front of a bus > throwing up in a bus.