>>Asia Journal -- Interlude: New York City (Sep 11th)
although i was writing my BNA articles a month or so behind my travels, nothing would have prepared me for the end of my trip -- for how fatigued i would get, for an annoying virus, and for what i would return to. of course when it rains it pours. and yet in one sense, i was so fortunate that everything difficult came at the end.
i was so lucky to have been traveling for so long with hardly a hiccup. although along my journey, i had fought more than a little guilt from wanting to finish my writing a little more quickly. while also wanting to fully enjoy myself, and experience as much as i could, unhindered with too much reflection.
in Koh Phangan, just after the full moon party in august, i caught a bad case of conjunctivitus. i couldn't see out of my left eye for almost two weeks. and my right eye was not much better. i finally had to take the 7 hour trip to an eye doctor on the mainland. when i got to hong kong, mostly recovered, i was thoroughly exhausted. and rather than do all the exploring i had wanted to do, i ended up going out with friends every night and really enjoying my time with friends rather than just going to all the tourist sites.
and then, it seemed so suddenly that i was on my way back to New York and a wedding in New Orleans. When i finally arrived back in New York City on September 9th, my hard drive imploded (losing months of email and everything i had been working on), my phones lines didn't work, i lost my mobile phone, an old roommate was trying to sue me for her rental deposit and broker fee, i had a good 2 meters of mail to sift through and other particulars of getting organized after being away for 6 months. and then tuesday morning, as i watched with a horrible sinking feeling from 10 blocks away, the WTC towers came down in a flash and torrent of debris.
the shock of all of that took me out for several weeks. i was watching CNN every moment of every day. and sleeping alot. none of my close friends were lost. but i knew a few people i had worked and socialized with, and had many friends who themselves had lost dear friends and one fiance in the disaster. there were pictures and candles out for two people in the building next door. i went to one funeral, and that was enough to be devastated. to see people you knew were so strong to be sobbing, beside themselves with grief. and some of my friends were going to several every week.
just getting up early and not staying up all night became the hardest thing for me to do. gradually now, i am getting back to normal. trying to be productive and efficient. and trying to get back into a mood and zone to write and be productive.
so what's it like to be back in NYC? still a little shellshocked. at least not so eirily quiet as it was just after the disaster. people are getting on with their lives. but trying to avoid riding the subway. and flinching when there are sirens in the streets, or airplanes in the sky.
so now it's the end of october. halloween. the leaves are changing. what used to be my favorite season of the year. and i have to get back to writing.
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