Man Vomits Casually Outside Bar

Catchy title, huh? But there I was, hurrying through the city centre to catch my train home when I beheld this wondrous sight. A very respectable looking middle aged man, standing outside a bar smoking a cigarette and checking his phone messages. Nothing to see here, folks. Perfectly normal. Next thing, however, he casually leans over and vomits before taking a leisurely drag of his cigarette and returning his attention once more to the phone screen.

It was a genuine double take moment, like you see in the cartoons. Initially I thought he had spilled his drink but nope, there was no pint glass, and it was the contents of his stomach that was forming a puddle on the pavement as opposed to any beverage he might have been holding. I’ll spare you the gory details but, upon closer inspection, I’m fairly confident I could have hazarded a guess as to what he had for lunch.

Nobody else was paying much attention to this startling spectacle. I mean, what else, would you be getting up to on a grey Tuesday afternoon in Belfast other than being violently ill outside a local hostelry? This is a city where the bars are always busy and an increasingly noticeable percentage of the population stumble about in broad daylight under the influence of something or other. Beer, spirits, drugs, illicit or prescription. Whatever.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, Stephen? Too right for, ten years ago, this could well have been me. Except I usually made it to the bathroom on time. Usually. Have I ever been sick outside a pub? Yup. But at least I looked suitable sheepish about it and made a reasonable attempt to conceal myself down a side entry before I performed the dastardly deed. Plus, I was never a smoker.

If I was still a betting man, I’d wager top dollar that Casual Vomit Man is back in the bar now, having cleared his nausea and returned to the fray. It’s a well known trick of the drinking trade. Empty stomach means more capacity for further alcohol intake. It’s like starting all over again. Twice the fun at zero expense. Except for the poor soul expected to clean up the mess outside.

I sincerely hope he gets home in one piece, without any further mishaps. Who knows, he may well wake up in the morning feeling as fresh as daisy, with no recollection of the incident. I’m afraid I won’t though. I’m a writer and I’m always greedily scanning the horizon for material. Casual Vomit Man is already immortalised in the blog, maybe he will turn up in a future book. It’s classic Kirkwood Scott territory.

Our streets aren’t paved with gold anymore. They’re paved with vomit and blood, decorated by broken bottles and discarded needles. We are all culpable, none of us can turn our backs on a society we have contributed towards, be it consciously or unconsciously. This is now and this is us. Man vomits casually outside a bar. Teenage addict begs for loose change around the next corner.

Nobody looks twice.

Nobody thinks once.

17 thoughts on “Man Vomits Casually Outside Bar

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  1. This is gross and sad on so many levels. First that this person just vomits and leaves it there without so much as a little care. Second that he feels this is normal behaviors. Third, the fact that nobody notices or cares is also sad because in this day and age everyone is so fixated on their phones and me me me that they could care less about their fellow human being.

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  2. I love it! Yes, I am quite sorry for the chap and the life twists that have brought him to this place. It is quite interesting that this moment in time was captured by an observer who could report with clarity and sensitivity. But why should my heart go out to Casual Vomit Man, any more than poor Stephen who certainly can’t unsee this thing he didn’t request? Or to the unsuspecting souls who travel that way before the other unfortunate person dispatched to remove the evidence of his deed? Who is really the victim here? It is the casual manner in which the deed was done that is most disturbing as the fellow doesn’t miss the next drag off his cigarette for something as natural as losing his lunch. I feel like one sick puppy for liking this. But thank you for sharing this moment in your day.

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  3. I’ve been playing this scene in my head – only placing it here – and yeah, pretty much the only people who would notice/say anything, would be people who stepped into the puddle.

    I have so many conflicting thoughts about the homeless and the begging that goes on – some of it compassionate, but most of it confused. I know there are resources, their are programs, and church groups and individuals who try to get people off the street; and yet the population never declines. Throw in the relatively well off drinkers and vomiters, and it’s very hard not to be deeply saddened that it’s the apex of a person’s day to be under the influence.

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  4. Since I’ve been reading your blog I’ve come to appreciate that you “see” the homeless, the marginalized. In truly seeing people, regardless of their place in the social strata, you’ve accomplished more than 99% of the rest of folks. Sometimes “seeing” has its humorous and highly unusual moments (I have a warped sense humor) but most of the time one sees the tragedy of broken lives and spirits. Thank you for sharing your recent experience. We never know the full story…

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  5. That kind of behavior down south in the Republic is why Dublin’s Temple Bar district is known as “Temple Barf.” The disease is so rampant, few who have it ever come to understand that it’s abnormal. I don’t think you’re casting stones; what you’ve done here is to show the clarity of vision that can come if one is fortunate enough to have the scales drop from one’s eyes.

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