Day 2 of exile


I’ve cried face timimg Jeff.  I’ve emailed my therapist.  I’ve felt ridiculous, much like a petulant child.

I want to be home and I want to be home NOW.


I don’t know why accepting my situation when it’s not a situation I want to be in but I have no control over anything is so awful for me.  I don’t outwardly throw a tantrum but I get butt hurt like this airport closure happened to hurt my feelings.


It’s like the time I had to share a sofa bed with Lisa and she’s a night kicker and I moved to the floor and got teary eyed because my feelings were hurt even though she was basically an unconscious ninja.


I got some of it out of my system and talked it through with Sadia who got it and made me feel better.  We hung out in the pool. We ate lunch. We watched it thunderstorm for hours while she worked and I checked work email and deleted hundreds of spam email.  I took a nap.  I don’t know how long I was passed out for. I got back up and read. We ate the second half of our lunch.  I read some more.  My brain is only partially absorbing Brene Brown’s “Braving the Wilderness”.  She’s going on about how our generalizations about people put up walls between us and some other stuff that feels intuitively right but I couldn’t tell you specifics because I’m halfway between the waking world and this “I want to be home” malaise like sleep status.


When I said goodnight and closed the door to my room I put on the soundtrack to “Dear Evan Hansen” and folded some clothes getting ready to pack, the air conditioning whirring in the background, I felt relatively normal.  This is familiar.  Listening to a musical,  folding clothes, the temperature significantly cooler than the rest of the villa (they really should have noted in the listing that only one room is air conditioned).  We’re leaving Summer Moon Desa Bulan and making our way back to Seminyak to wait out the rest of the volcano delay.  Sadia has been great in contacting Eva Air everyday to see where we are and if there is any update on waitlists.  The Eva Air customer service in Taipei has been phenomenal in comparison to standard US customer service.  They don’t break a sweat.  They don’t blink an eye.  They’re helpful and they’re calm which makes you feel calm. 


We’re booked on a flight out of Denpasar on 12/2 and on the waitlist everyday up until then.  This 12/2 flight feels solid and real but you never know.  We were able to login and choose seats yesterday.  Looking at a grid of seats and choosing one and clicking confirm feels real and good.  I know this is not a guarantee that this won’t change depending on whatever happens with the volcano but its’ the only thing we have to hold on to right now so I’ll take it and try not to get too attached to any particular outcome because well… who knows what will happen?


It feels really cheesy to listen to a musical soundtrack but that worked better than anything else.  I needed story.  I needed a very obvious and familiar story to listen to to get my  mind off of worry and concern and stress.  Earlier I had been laying on the bed, staring at the ceiling throught the mosquito net listening to Neko Case sing “don’t let this faded summer pass you by”  and while there is some comfort in “Magpie to the Morning” it’s much too melancholy for the moment.


I feel myself slowing down and becoming more of the internalized version of me. Quiet, subdued, slow to add to the conversation, partially present.  Sadia is feeling better after her bout of Bali Belly and is much more vocal and animated. Back to normal. Miranda had some sort of detox cleansing juice that caused the ultimate cleansing.  She had been puking the night before and was down for the count all day.  We had been bringing her coconut water, cold face towels and white rice trying to bring her back to life. And I’ve been drifting and somewhat out of it, consistently tired, always on the verge of a nap.  I haven’t been sick yet on this trip but my poop has been on the verge of diarrhea since we’ve gotten to ubud.  Originally I was really excited to get out of the more crowded seminyak to a more remote area.  Don’t get me wrong, ubud is beautiful and the villa being remote has been great but it’s also had its difficulties.  Me and my knee have dealt with the slippery rocks leading to and from our villa.  I’ve waded ankle deep in water in some parts just to find sure footing.  It’s just a bit more tropical here. More mosquitos, more bugs, more wetness and less taxis.  The villa has drivers to take you to and from central ubud but if you’re out late, you’re sort of stranded and have to take a local taxi home.  A local taxi meaning anyone saying they’re a taxi and you get into their car, which is not a branded taxi, to take you home.


Yesterday I tried to explain to Sadia how I get overwhelmed and it comes on rather slowly when we’re walking around the streets of bali.  I’m initially fine.  We walk for a bit and my knee feels ok. I feel ok.  We go a bit further, we saunter in and out of stores.  The knee and low back start making their presence known.  I’m still ok but there are warning signs of future crankiness. Meanwhile the unpredictable sidewalk terrain makes me work harder to maintain.  Meanwhile my baseline level of usual anxiety has moved from a yellow alert to an orange because of the occasional hole in the sidewalk that makes you move into oncoming traffic to avoid falling. Meanwhile the motorbikes are so close to you as they go by you lean away instinctively so as not to get hit.  Meanwhile you start to walk funny because your knee is failing you. 

It all snowballs.


And when you’re ready to go home you still need to wait it out for awhile because the streets are narrow and crowded and your driver needs to find you or you need to find a ride which constitutes more walking and more standing and your good leg is now mad at you because it’s doing all the work carrying you heavy body through this obstacle course.


It’s exhausting and it’s hard to be gentle with yourself and remember that you have an injury and this is what happens to people who have injuries.  It’s not happening to me because I’m fat, because I’m an awful person or because I don’t deserve vacations.

These thoughts are ridiculous but they are the ones that come to me when I’m not feeling great to begin with and I watch other people comfortably walking calmly down the street without great effort.


I’m fine.  This is normal. I am not defective. My body has not betrayed me.

If anything, I betrayed my body by believing in a health paradigm that applauds over exercise and dieting.


Return to Seminyak

I hate to say that I’m glad to be back in seminyak in a hotel. It makes me feel like I can’t hang.  Maybe I can’t. Or maybe it’s more like I can hang but I prefer not to.  I was done with living in the jungle and how difficult it felt to get what I wanted or needed. I was done with the nightly influx of bugs in the villa. They have their own schedule. They come in the evening and they congregate on the kitchen table and counter tops.  They swarm my sink. The beetles, so dark and matte black, they look unreal. The brown moths who never make it until the morning, their little brown wings scattered around like tiny little leaves.  How did they die? Why does this happen?  Nature is confusing. 

I grew up in New Jersey to immigrant parents who did not believe in camping.  Weve worked so hard, weve come to America to NOT sleep outside. Why would people do this?  The closest we’ve come is to setting up shop at rest stops during our long drive vacations.  My mom would be carrying the rice cooker around looking for an outlet.  They would never purposefully sleep outside.

So yeah, I can’t hang. I wasn’t built to hang.

Our first tour in Seminyak Sadia requested to get a pedicure and since I had just gotten one before we left for Bali I got a manicure, the first one I’ve had since my wedding.

This is never a good idea for me, the ultimate nail biter.

So I’ve had nail polish on for the duration of this vacation, even during the stressful parts and I’m consistently on the verge of biting them and then not being able too because…well, eating nail polish is gross.

The nail biting is not necessarily a stress reliever for me but something I just do all the time.  Maybe this means I’m stressed all the time?  I’m unsure.  It really could be a by product of my anxiety.

I don’t know what to do now that I can’t bite my nails.  The polish is chipping and pulling away from the edges so if I really wanted to I could bite some of them.  There is something about my right pointer finger.  Like that nail grows faster than all of the other nails and I’m itching to bite it off because all I do is feel it, extending beyond my finger, growing past the tip, annoying the shit out of me.
I don’t know how people have long nails. Seriously people, what the fuck is wrong with you?

If we do indeed get on a plan on Saturday I wonder if these nails will survive or if I’ll have bitten them to shreds in a fury as we wait out our flight delays. 

The airport opened today at 3PM as the volcanic ash has shifted direction and I’m trying my best not to get my hopes up too high that we could be home relatively soon.  I want to keep the relief at bay so I’m not so devastated if the volcano erupts again and closes the airport again and keeps me away from my husband and my dogs and my quaint little life on 65th Ave.  It’s amazing how much I miss my routine. I miss my gym, my ladies, my coffee shop. I miss Jeff. I miss Bean. I miss Charlie Pancakes. I miss my dining room table littered with mail and papers and too many coasters.  I miss my kitchen and I miss my annoyance and trying to keep it clean.  I miss listening to podcasts while I do dishes.  I miss our Halloween bucket of candy that will probably now be our yearly bucket of candy as I don’t want to stop refilling it because it’s nice having kit kats and peanut butter cups around for random snacking.  It’s nice not punishing myself for having candy in the house. I miss stepping out onto the chilly backyard in the mornings to let bean and Charlie pancakes do their business, gauging if it’s officially winter, if it’s really the first frost of the season.  I wonder if that has happened while I’ve been gone.  I miss working at the dining room table. I miss walking into the TV Room to check on Jeff, to say, to sit next to him on the couch and ask him if he wants lunch, ask him if he’s busy and how is work going.  I miss saying goodbye to the boys as they go out for their afternoon walk while I go upstairs to do my physical therapy exercises.  I miss asking the dreaded “what do you want for dinner?” question and I especially miss when we order in and curl up on the couch with the dogs.  I miss texting him from bed telling him I’m ready to go to sleep and he’ll come upstairs and meet me for snuggles.  Charlie Pancakes and Bean will form a wall between us but Jeff will sneak around them to appropriately put me to bed before he gets up to mess around with his synthesizers or play a video game or work. Work sometimes happens.  He’s always been the night owl. I’ve always been the early bird.  There is no worm to get though. Just quiet mornings which are nice.

I miss all of it.

I am a whiny bitch. I know.