I’m Not Alone
So it was on flight SQ16 from Incheon to San Francisco that I picked up a new friend.
Maybe friend is too generous a word.
A follower? Stalker? Shadow?
I think it all started somewhere over the international date line. It gets pretty wonky up there over the Pacific.
When I got off the plane, there was someone there. With me. Only I didn’t realize just who yet.
Tuesday, as I went to work, he came along.
I say he. Really, this thing is a genderless entity, a spectre, an imaginary friend. But for the sake of ease, I’ll say he.
As I commuted to work, I finally realized he was there. In the passenger seat. He went with me into the coffee shop. He was there when I parallel parked my car. He took a seat in the conference room where I’m attending a training class.
He sits next to me. With me. On me. On my head. Wrapped around me like a blanket made of wet mud and peat moss.
The entity is jet lag. I call him JG for short.
I think you’re not supposed to talk about JG. When someone asks, the right answer is “fine! Oh I’m doing great. Yeah, no problem.”
But it’s a problem.
JG is real and JG is profound. I try to stay normal. I try to make a salient point during the workshop on data security but while I speak, JG puts cotton fluff and jello into the working parts of my brain.
JG gives me a nice outfit to wear to work, only the fabric is the leaden material found in xray rooms and dentist offices.
My shoes are made of concrete.
I lean forward and my shoulders slump so I can carry the heavy load. I straighten up again and pretend JG isn’t there. My shoulders slump once more.
JG won’t be ignored.
I turn in early to bed to try to get right, to reclaim my brain and my body and I drop easily into sleep. JG jostles me awake at 2:00 am and says “hey! Let’s play!”
I rise and have a snack and try to get something done so my day isn’t a total loss but JG robs my motivation and steals my creative will.
Instead I sit on the couch watching “Mad About You” reruns and wondering where in the hell my life has gone since Paul and Jamie examined married life in the ’90’s.
Then I hallucinate about being stuck in customs somewhere in Asia.
I shake my head from side to side to clear my etch-a-sketch of a mind and try again to focus on the television. Maybe some more food will help.
There isn’t a pill that can cure me of JG. There isn’t a quick fix remedy.
There is only time.
JG and I will be hanging out for a while. You’ll find us in aisle 6 at the grocery store. I’ll be the one standing there bewildered and trying desperately to remember what I needed to buy.
JG will be the one playing tricks in my eyes and tripping me at the ankles and making me want to lay down on the stack of ten pound bags of jasmine rice and close my eyes, just for a moment.
Until strange dreams startle me awake and I rise again to wander the world, a little lost American girl searching for another cup of Singaporean coffee (kopi) and a slice of kaya toast.
Image found on Anabolic Minds.