Or more accurately, days I partially remember.
I can’t recall why, but I was stuck late at high school during a blizzard. By the time I left, all the busses were gone, and my usual route home, through a path across a patch of forest, was impossible. There was at least three feet of snow on the ground.
My only choice was to take the driveway out of the school and use the roads, which were being plowed and salted hourly. It added about a mile to my trip, but I figured it was easier than trudging through the snow. It was a bad decision, but I’ll never know if it was the wrong or worse one.
The road was covered in slush and cars kept splattering me. Within minutes, I was drenched from head to toe and freezing. About halfway home, I reached a Burger King and stopped to warm up. I realized I was starving and bought a Whopper. It tasted a little off, but I ate it anyway, then continued on.
By the time I was home, I knew that something was wrong. I was shivering and sweating at the same time and felt profoundly nauseous. As I changed into dry clothes and toweled off, I cursed that Whopper. For a decade afterwards, I couldn’t even look at a Whopper without feeling sick.
I sat on the couch and started watching The Ten Commandments. I didn’t feel like moving, and that movie is over four hours long. No one else was home yet, which was kind of pleasant, so I just sat there, shaking and sweating and watching Charlton Heston pretend to be a Jew.
My stomach started to quake and I ran to the toilet just in time to heave up chunk after chunk of barely digested Whopper. I puked so violently a lot of Whopper came out of my nose, but when it was all finally over, I felt mildly better. I was still febrile, but at least the nausea mostly was gone.
So I returned to my movie and sat there quivering and blowing my nose. I kept blowing and blowing, but it still felt funny, even after all of the vomit and mucus was out. I gave up and tried to concentrate on the movie, but my nose still felt off, so after half an hour, I gave it one last good blow, and a half-digested pickle from the Whopper came out into the napkin. I looked down at the pickle and started to sob. I felt like my life was over. Who would ever love a person who blew pickles out of their nose? How could I ever apply for a job or ask a girl out without thinking about that pickle?
I shut off The Ten Commandments and went to bed. When my parents and sister arrived home later and called me down to dinner, I told them to go to hell. The next day was a snow day, but I wouldn’t have made it to school anyway. I ended up staying in bed for three days, with odd trips to the bathroom to piss and vomit. There was nothing left in my stomach, but I could still taste rancid Whopper and smell that evil pickle.