Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Phantom Limb

I'm beginning to love mornings. I used to stay awake forever at night because I needed some alone time. Actually, I've mostly just had the worst time trying to go to sleep. I couldn't turn my mind off, or I had a little too much FMS pain to relax, or I just didn't feel like the day should be over. Regardless, I think that's changed recently, especially in light of the summer. I enjoy the mornings now. I have better alone time in the morning than I do at night. In the morning, the alone time is always solitary, never lonely. It's fresh, never heavy. It's brilliant, never empty. And the tea always tastes better.

So, I went to bed early last night. I just couldn't see straight. I had taken two Dramamine two hours before my transatlantic flight, and the antihistamines put me out for the whole day. They were only supposed to last for eight hours, but they spilled over into the next ten. Yuck. I got lost of needed sleep. But since I went to sleep early, I was so able to get up early.

It seems like every morning when I woke up over the past two weeks, I had to talk myself into the fact that I was in London. This is what a boy who has never been out of the country before must do for reality to set in. And this morning? I had to talk myself into the fact that I wasn't in London anymore. Such a rude awakening! I made the morning beautiful by having some of my Earl Grey tea I bought from Fortnum & Mason, some toast and jam, and watching BBC World News. It was always on the plasma screen downstairs in the breakfast room. And then, when I had shaved and showered, I did it all over again. Tea, toast, news. It made the morning lovely.

I had to get on the internet this morning to check my scheduled work time. While I was on, I decided to go to this blog page and look at the camera in Trafalgar Square. I could hear the noises in my head. I could smell the smells. I could see myself walking the areas right where I was looking. It was like I had Phantom Limb Syndrome. A huge piece of my body has been hacked off, and for some reason, it still feels like it's there.

Some have said, "It was only two weeks." Others might say, "Well, you're not British. This was your first time to go there." It doesn't take long for something to grow on you that just feels right. Everyone has the need to feel a part of something bigger, and we all define our "bigger" in different ways. Some choose a club. Some choose service. Indeed, we would all do well to choose service. Some choose sports teams, ensembles, or casts. London, while never romantically feeling so, fit that for me. Plunged into a circumstance where there is no one to take care of you but yourself, I felt grown up... for once.

I'm amazed at how I can drink the Fortnum & Mason Earl Grey tea with no sugar.

I've turned out to be something of a novelty at work. I should say that my tattoo has turned out to be something of a novelty at work. In a place where such boldness is startling, most were pleased, some just fascinated to see my tattoo. Yes, even I am still fascinated that I actually have a tattoo. Mostly I am please to have a permanent reminder of a life experience and a life change on my arm. Truly pleased.

I hate to think what I look like every time an airline stewardess walks by. I wanted to sleep, but I was really hungry. So I allowed myself to be startled by every attendant that walked past. Eyelids sticking to each other. A touch of drool on the left corner of my mouth. Top lip dried and stuck to the upper gums, exposing my teeth. A quick uptake of breath as I stir. And quick panicky speech, like I'm in a hurry to save someone's life. Was it really worth it to make a fool of myself in order to eat? I think so. Even for pesto hummus with limp peppers and a pint-size, undressed salad.

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