Friday, February 18

nirvana lost

The handicapped lifestyle is not all fun and popsicles, as one might suppose. It is the best of adventures, to be sure, one for which I’d hate to be left behind, but adventure rarely comes easily; otherwise we’d have a misnomer on our hands.

Just when I thought the Thursday regularity of my posts from India might be giving the oh-so-false impression that I write to you easily from a seaside cabana, whilst sipping Bacardi Breezers, pausing here and there to look wistfully toward the horizon for poetic inspiration, I got sick to prove the point. 

Take-a-way lunch from Dinha's
I write to you now through a haze of flu medication, three days separated from any reality outside the bounds of bed and tissues. Or has it been four days; not sure. Apparently, while I was busy soaking up India and trying to condense it into 600 words of weekly post, my brain and my body held a caucus, where they conspired against me, ultimately voting across the board for a time out. And no, I am not that picky about word count, I just feel like a failure with anything under 850.

In fact, this is my second illness in the last month, but tales of simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea in India are clichĂ©, and I couldn’t stomach regaling it. Having survived my first stay in India without the ever-popular ten-pounds-in-two-days weight loss program, I naively considered my stomach to be in the front guard of superior spice tolerance. Pride goeth…

And so, as if the variability of internet connection, temporarily unavailable websites (Blogger, I’d be talking to corporate right now if you weren’t so obnoxiously free), HTML error codes, and unrelenting mosquito raids at the internet cafĂ© weren’t obstacle enough, add sore throat and head congestion to the dragons I must slay to bring you this post. Can someone please get me a mosquito net to innocently hang from my ceiling fan, having forgotten the power is out, and not off? True story, but not mine.

And now I’d like to tell you how dirty India is…

Ok, I’m not that vindictive. And I kind of like it that way.

India, have I told you lately that I love you? Stay cool, ok? And never change. Really.

Ahem…did I mention I’m on cold tablets and can’t hear myself speak? It’s interesting how sickness narrows your priorities. Instead of where will I go today, what work will I do, who will I talk to, it becomes how can I find a quiet place to lie down, with easy access to ginger lemon honey…Tea?, you ask. No, that would insinuate the inclusion of a tea bag, which is an entirely different drink, so I’ve learned. So ‘ginger lemon honey’ it is, and will continue to be, if this keeps up much longer.
My digs
I find being ill an inconvenience, mostly to all the well people who want you back at the party. After two days of it, I start to feel like a real pooper, reducing my public appearances to avoid bringing down the high.

Asking for help is not something I do well; and helping is not something many people really know how to do. Joe, Pascal, and Tony turn up from time to time at my room to make sure I'm still alive. Conveniently my mobile phone stops working.

“I just need someone to hold my hand,” I squeak to Little Gen, “figuratively speaking," I add between tears. But I reach the little arm out to rest on her two extended fingers.

I go to the pharmacy and point to my throat. I’m handed some whitish horse pills without the outside wrapping, no indication of dosage or desired affect; but mostly I just want to exchange my consciousness for another one. I take one, desperately trusting wherever it takes me.

It takes me to Little Gen’s apartment, where the next twenty-four hours observe me watching back-to-back episodes of Ricky Gervais’ An Idiot Abroad, wherein reluctant traveler Karl Pilkington visits the Seven Wonders of the World, while leaving the rest of us feeling glad we stayed home.

Balcony at Savio's Guesthouse
But this morning, I wobble my way to German Bakery, desperate for contact with the outside world. I find myself sitting across from a bearded professor who tells me, according to Zen, enlightenment is the sound of one hand clapping.

Apparently, I’m closer than I thought.