My clock says it is 4:10 AM on Friday morning.
In the past thirteen days, I have taken a taxi to Newark, flown to Seattle, took a cab to a hotel, took a ferry to Bremerton, took a taxi and a bus and a plane to Los Angeles and then, finally, a plane back to Newark.
I was in all these places, and everything was different but inside I was stagnant, the same. I was in pain and ignoring it and trying to look at the prism of my experience through what I saw and not how I physically felt. My stomach muscles ached from breathing but I did, in and out. In bars and restaurants and on the living room floor with Cece.
I landed in Newark on Sunday night, exhausted. I wept on the flight, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. I leaned my head on a stranger’s shoulder out of instinct, and he looked up, confused and annoyed.
I slept briefly at home, drove north and held and played with some of my favorite people. I felt the curl of an newborn's hand around my finger. I learned so much.
I drove home from Katie's and accidentally passed out until midnight and have been up ever since, despite my overuse of Nyquil. (WHY. WON'T. YOU. WORK???)
I want to write about Seattle, and Bremerton and seeing Liz and Cece. I want to tell funny tales from my adventures in LA but right now, I am disoriented and exhausted and if you told me it was December, I'd probably believe you. (SANTA?!?)
I have pictures in my head, I have videos in my head of talks I had with Liz on the couch. I remember Cece's laugh. Her sideways waddle, her sweet smile. I know the taste of the margaritas we had on Cinco de Mayo in LA. I know the quiet that Rachel and I share, and the laughter too. I know that visiting family is not a vacation: it is home, just in another place.
All these memories and moments happened and coincided with physical pain and maybe now, here at 4:10 on a Friday morning, I am letting myself feel it. Instead of pushing, pushing through I am letting myself lie awake and wash over me.
Maybe that's why I cried on the flight home. Maybe that's why I feel unfunny right now, why my face is red and I can't really recognize myself. Why I'm bursting with fever. Maybe that's why I want to stay in this sweatshirt and lay here until everything comes back, all the energy I once had.
I will but I'll remember this: I live a full life, flush with experience and adventure and love. I am sick but I have everything else, here and there and even on the West Coast. So I will rest now, and let it stew, and I'll come back to the photos, videos and memories and remember just how blessed I really am.