Saturday, October 2, 2010

cabin pressure

So I remember once upon a time, my mother would invoke the teachings of Ram Dass and chide me gently to Be Here Now.

Then, tucked in the spine of a purchase at the emporium, a bookmark that read: You Are Here. A bookmark I later saw in the bat cave of the G.I.Q.

Always I have been told to take comfort in the chaos. To find stillness. Today I flew (and I hate to fly) the length of the eastern seaboard, and survived. (read: cheated death again.) It only took a Xanax, a bag of gummy worms and the prayer-like recitation of all forty-four U.S. presidents in chronological order to calm me down. We got up and stayed up. I drank my can of cranberry juice. I read my dime store crime novel in the crisp blue dome.

Then the descent—nosing through a low, flat layer of cloud cover, sprawling dunes of sugar—into grey and blustery New York. Immediately, my armor intact, the cocoon of aloneness. My anonymous shroud. Earbuds, paperback, eyes on cell.

I found my city loud and proud and indifferent. I hit the pavement, matching pace. I took my computer to the Genius Bar for a one am repair, navigating sidewalks busy still at that hour on Central Park South. I could have danced all night. But I seem to have lost my edge.

And I may have lost my nerve.

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