It is springtime in New York, and I wake up in my own home with absolutely no idea where I am. Last night I fell asleep on top of the covers, and I wake up sideways on the bed, with the lights up and the radio on. I did not lock the front door.
The contents of my suitcase are spilled on the floor.
It takes me a moment to realise that I am home, with the diffuse sunlight streaming through the window sheers.
I feel groggy and nauseated, and had fallen asleep with wet, unbrushed hair, so my head is a mat of waves and ringlets.
Why do I feel sick? Did I pick something up on the plane? Did I forget to take some medication last night? I run my foggy brain through the list of pills, stumble to the kitchen to see what, if anything, is left in my pillbox.
It is then that I see I had tried to make myself dinner and had fallen asleep mid-sandwich.
The trick of travel, by the way, is to drink at least 2L of water a day. It is to take medications on the same timetable as I would if I were in NY — for instance, if I consume the sulfasalazine at 7am each day in New York, in London, I take it at noon, and in Asia, I swallow the yellow tabs at 7pm.
The other tricks are also as follows:
Rose Vaseline, coconut oil, hydrabebe, and nuun. Emollients and electrolytes — that’s all it takes to survive and look human. Rose Vaseline for the lips; coconut oil for the hair and body; hydrabebe for the face and hands; nuun to mix in with water — electrolyte tabs of champions — great for popping into my Nalgene bottle when filled once past airport security and fabulous for hangovers.
Oh, and this:
I digress. But I am thinking about this since these are all jumbled on the floor beside my bed.
Right now, I am sick to my stomach and dizzy, stumbling around my own apartment in the springtime morning light.
I make my way into the office and fumble through my day. Through calls and events and all of the things that I am supposed to be doing in New York.
It feels weird to have been gone, but it feels normal again. As if anything has been or could be such a thing.