Le Vertige

When I was younger I had a great confusion when it came to vertigo and nostalgia.  They always got mixed up in my head for no real reason (kind of like Mel Brooks, Mel Gibson, and… Gene Wilder).
I believe it was at a museum in Chicago (which one, I don’t know) where the separation of the two concepts finally became concrete.  That was a great trip to Chicago- I remember lots of tulips, adorable kittens in a pet store, refried beans, and reading the Phantom Stallion series voraciously (I real Desert Dancer on the plane, I think.)
Discovering vertigo was an important step in my adolescent development, because now I can use words like vertiginous without sounding like an idiot and I can understand that Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak are dealing with heights and not memories of trips to their grandmas’ houses in Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

Things that give one vertigo:

  • Looking down on something falling from a great height
  • Watching water go under the front or out behind a fast boat
  • Standing in the shallows of the ocean with your eyes closed
  • Looking up at the sky from one of those playground roundabouts (while it’s spinning, of course)
  • Drugs
  • Hanging upside down and looking up at the sky
  • Standing up fast after resting
  • Looking straight down at the ground from the highest point of a swing’s backward trajectory
  • Niagara Falls
  • Watching a train or other fast-moving option race by you
  • Thinking about the vast reaches of time and its inevitable forward march


Disclosure: This is not a medical blog, I am not here to offer prescriptions or to be diagnosed.

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