Guess what time it is, boys and girls? Time for Arikia to have a nervous breakdown! Step right up and watch her unravel.
I usually freak out before I travel. Last time I flew to Haiti, I got to the airport, checked in, and discovered airport bars generally aren’t open on Sunday mornings. “What kind of Puritanical crap is this???” I exclaimed, startling a vendor. Finally I found a breakfast spot willing to serve me booze and promptly ordered a double bloody Mary.
On the plane, I had a few mini panic attacks. Wtf was I doing? All I could do was sit there with my face in my hands and ask myself that question. I dozed off about 10 times on the ~4 hours flight and, every time I snapped awake and realized I was on a plane to Haiti, I started panicking all over again. Perhaps it was the contrast between myself and everyone around me, but that was actually the most serene flight I had ever been on. Usually on flights, there’s a baby screaming and a pair of chatty sorority girls exclaiming something asinine. There is almost always a pervy dude sitting next to me trying to start an intellectual debate that I have no interest in. Never fails.
But on this flight, everyone was calm. The children were well behaved. It was quiet. Everyone was relieved to be going home. And there I was, the one light-skinned American girl on the entire plane, hyperventilating into her palms and turning green in the face. The woman next to me looked worried and asked me if I was OK.
There are 5 days until my departure, and I’m beginning to feel jumpy again. I thought I lost my passport this morning. I’ve been taking prophylactic malaria medication, which apparently gives you fucked up dreams. I had no idea I was even capable of conjuring thoughts so disturbing. I woke up in a cold sweat this morning, afraid to go back to sleep. I guess it’s hard to say it it’s the meds, or just my irrational fears. A country in peril, starvation, amputees, desperation… death. I’ve never smelled death before.
OK, time to snap out of it and get some work done. Today has been utterly unproductive and I’m supposed to meet Scribbler 50 and PhysioProf for drinks tonight. I’m sure I’ll be great company.