You know when you are having the worst day.
I caught a terrible cold. Before I even got on the flight back to NYC, while in warm, dry Vegas, of all places, I started to sneeze and my throat started to tickle.
Experience major headache being unable to pull up Jetblue boarding pass on my cell or at a kiosk. Ticket attendant tells you it’s a glitch she can’t help you with.
After multiple kiosks, while sweating bullets as to how much of a stink it will be to board a flight that had already been rescheduled 4 days later than the originally scheduled flight, the ticket prints and I board the driest, hottest plane Sandy and I have ever boarded. Everyone around me is coughing and sneezing. It’s a redeye and we lose three hours flying back to NYC. We arrive in NYC at 6a. I have slept three hours, and the back of my throat aches terribly.
I’m sick. I’m really sick AND exhausted. We get to Sandy’s office, as we have no home, and I crash for 4 hours on the memory foam mattress we have tucked away behind a curtain during regular office hours.
I awake at 12 and attempt to sort through the items I’ve brought home from my West Coast travels and the items I ought to pack to return West. It is slow going and unproductive. We head to our petsit, and I breathe in a sigh of relief to be at the apartment of a family and with a dog that I love, in homey Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Day 5. I’m still really sick, and I continue to need to nap during the day to replenish my strength. I’m a hot mess, but I’m only around Sandy, and I cancel Game Night to avoid making my friends sick that day. The problem is that I only cancel on those that RSVPed Yes. I send no notice to the maybe in the Facebook invite, assuming maybes never make it.
The maybes make it and are annoyed that I’m not there when they knock.. because I’m walking Olive outside with Sandy. We arrive back with Olive to find Saad, Heather, and Larry at our footsteps. I’m temporarily mortified.
I look sick, I feel sick, and I haven’t bought any snacks or prepared any games. Oh no!
Fortunately it is a lot of fun seeing all of them, and Saad and Heather entertain us all swapping details on their missing teeth they have and their expensive dental woes. I admire how much each of them speaks so passively about the experience. Grief isn’t inset to their faces, the way I imagine it would be for me having to fork about $10K total and go through extreme pain for a surgery that doesn’t improve one’s body, but brings it back to a neutral gain.
One of my front teeth is grayed from when I fell on it at age 12 delivering newspapers on a rainy day. I flinch a little writing this knowing their poor luck will likely fall upon me one day.
Day 6, 7, 8
I am still very sick, sleeping 10 hours a day and still exhausted, but I run outside as in 2 weeks I am supposed to hike the world’s largest volcano in Hawaii. I can’t let my health disintegrate, and an online article tells me that running won’t worsen or extend my cold. It is brutally cold, in the 20s, and windy one day, but I do despite not enjoying it.
I wallow in the fact that in three weeks I’ll be back in NYC severely underemployed and unsure as to what kind of work I will be happy picking up with.
I learn that the box that I had shipped to NYC from the West Coast that had
Brand new Nike Air sneakers and boots
- Many electronic gadgets
- Expensive toiletries and cosmetics
- And a value of $500+
- Has arrived at Sandy’s office missing most of its contents.
USPS will not help me with this saying another provider was 3rd party sourced to complete the delivery. I’m defeated as I know I’ll recover nothing despite their responsibility for some employee along the line stealing all my stuff.
I also learn that both work exchange guests that were supposed to come 4/10-7/19 have bailed and will not be coming to take care.
I had to San Francisco with Mike. I’m relieved that flying on his Southwest Airlines Companion Pass that I can hitch a free ride with him to San Francisco. He is a great travel partner, full of interesting stories about subjects I know nothing about, like Fantasy Football and gun laws.
I’m feeling healthier, and although I look like terrible, I’m hopeful I’ll feel less terrible going forward as my sickness dissipates.
As I finish writing my best cover letter in years, my macbook starts to flicker, shuts down, and smells like burning. It dies with my one hope all week at productivity and a future.
I am sitting on a dirty San Francisco BART train surrounded by very smelly homeless-looking men. The apple I bite into tastes rotten, but I keep eating it anyway because I don’t care anymore.
As I move to look at the map to ensure I’m finally on the right train, heading in the right direction, after heading three stops in the wrong direction, I find that it smells even worse as I move in that direction.
“It can be worse,” I tell myself.
It can and will be worse at times, but now, despite losing $1500 of product – despite being currently unemployed – despite the stress I may bear in the coming weeks finding a job, I am ok.