…who claims to have been “violently ill.” Even if you’ve become stricken with some awful stomach virus that results in uncontrollable vomiting, say, I don’t trust that term. It sounds too rehearsed or cooked up. Like something you might say after a facetime phone chat with your publicist.

The sickest I’ve ever been happened in Marrakech in the summer of ’76. It came after eating a dish of Couscous at a rooftop restaurant. I awoke around 1 ayem, weak and whimpering. I spent the next twelve hours “making love to the toilet,” as my girlfriend of the time put it.

But there was nothing “violent” about it. It was more about laying down and surrendering to the void. Around 3 or 4 am I said to myself, “Okay, this might be it…I might die. But at least when I depart this awful nausea will stop, and I can merge with the infinite in peace.”

Posted from Santa Barbara on 1.18.20: