Mike McCormack reading from his novel Solar Bones


I’m Mike McCormack and I’m reading from Solar
Bones. I came home that Friday and found she’d been sick since morning. Nausea and fever, and for the first couple of hours but worsening to cramps and puking in the afternoon, keeping her in bed with the curtains drawn, a livid flush
in her cheeks and a gloss of sweat on her face, her voice a thready rasp of itself, whispering.
It’s been like this all day. I can’t hold anything down and it was a shock to see her like that,
lying there with all the energy twisted out of her, this woman who had never took to the
bed for any reason whatsoever and… ‘Do you want me to call the doctor? You’re burning up’, as
I laid my hand on her forehead, which in spite of appearances felt cold beneath the sweaty
sheen. ‘No, it’s only a bug it’ll be gone in the morning, all I need is a bit of sleep
and you’re alright besides her face narrowing into a tight grimace. I got these, cramps they
come and go through my stomach. It’s been like this all afternoon and they are not getting
any better, if I could just get some sleep before her misery came to a head later that
evening, when I was in the kitchen and her voice called from the bedroom where I found
her leaning over the side of the bed vomiting a green wash into a basin, her body purging
itself in a spasm of spew, a rinse of bitter filth sluicing up out of her as if she were
pumped up from within with such twisting force she was now almost out of the bed, resting
her hand on the floor, bracing herself over the basin while she continued to disgorge
her body almost now down on the floor from which after another bout of puking I finally
drew up and settled back within the pillows where she lay trembling and sniffling wetly.
‘So that’s’ it’, I said. I’m calling the doctor.

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