Today, I made it out of my bed, out the door of my apartment, and down to M/E’s to give them their gifts. (M: You didn’t have to get us gifts! Me: Well, they’ve already been purchased.) Making it the ten or so blocks to M/E’s apartment was a triumph, since on Sunday, when we got back into the country, I proceeded to retreat to my bed and sleep like the dead until this morning.
After I left them at the subway, I kept walking, past Fairway, site of my original mission (to purchase bland food for my still unpredictable stomach), to Columbus Circle. While I was gone, they finished working on the steps at Lincoln Center. They used to be thicker and higher, and now they’re low and flat and smooth.
I should have thought better than to promise a full report on return. I feel like I’ve been underwater for a year, and now that I’m up, I’m still wearing a mask that’s filtering reality. All around me is evidence that it happened-my sunburn, my broken bootlace, a pile of laundry, the flowers I collected and pasted into my journal with medical tape, the aches in my arms and legs from lifting and carrying/dragging luggage, some bug bites. Earlier today, I found the airsick bag a flight attendant handed me when I thought I was going to throw up before we took off in Quito.Things keep coming back to me, and then getting blotted out by the frenzy of returning. I am afraid of my Google reader, which has well over 1000 updates. The new semester is starting tomorrow. We are not eating meals together around the table in the hacienda. There was no raucous Apples to Apples game with C, A, and K last night. What’s been feels unreal, and I can’t imagine anything past the present moment, so I guess I’m just going to fake it until things are more clear.
Before we left for the airport on Saturday, E, H and I went to buy fruit and water at a shop around the corner from our hostel. It was a bright day descending into evening, and as we walked, we heard someone singing“Across the Universe.” It was coming from a house where a Beatles cover band was playing, the door open so you could a shaggy, dark haired guitarist singing with gusto. It was so heartbreakingly appropriate, so beautifully unplanned, like the most amazing moments of life and of our ten days together.
Tonight, I feel like I’m waiting for the dust to settle still, but trying madly to hold onto my awe, of mountains, women, organic community, voices and intention.