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  • This was taken last July 4. I thought I was obese.

    Later that month I came down with a stomach bug. Even as I lurched to the bathroom, fighting dizziness, the soft, spooky peace of vomiting managed to be seductive.

    A few weeks later I was making it happen myself.

    Capillaries in my eyes burst. I told everyone my lips were split from my dorm room's dry air.

    On November 14 I went to see Immortals with a handful of other Latin majors. I binged on candy for two hours, gulping M&Ms by the gulletful, and still my nervous stomach kept clawing for more.

    In Chili's afterward, I vomited so violently that the ring shot from my nostril and settled at the bottom of the toilet.

    There was no trumpeting epiphany, no flame of wisdom from on high. But I did go back out there and sip tea to soothe my screaming throat, and let ancient Roman in-jokes tickle my eardrums. And I thought,

    Latinists are few and far between. I had better not destroy one of the only living ones.
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