I wake to the inescapable scent of tempura in my hair. This falls second on the humiliation scale only to waking up with partially masticated chicken in my mouth, which may or may not have happened once in my early twenties when I was highly intoxicated .
I fumble in the dark for my security blanket. It has been charging all night and its warmth comforts me in a way that can only make even the modestly thoughtful person profoundly sad. But my toy phone holds both all the answers and all the secrets! It tells me it's 6:33am and that the last thing I googled before falling asleep was "what should I do with my life".
I desperately want to go for a run but I cannot. I cannot because a few days ago in my overly zealous attempt to recover from the insult of the scale telling me I had gained 13 pounds this summer was to chaotically sprint around Milan like a baby gazelle and then wake up the following morning with achilles tendinitis. So instead I'm feet up drinking a mocha and trying to make it an even 14.
Surely I get this polarized tendency toward periods of extreme productivity and extreme laziness from my father. He is very gentle and totally an enabler. This summer after returning from Bali, I spent a week at his home barely getting out of bed save for the random times I resurrected myself to dispense a generous bowl of cereal and milk. At a certain point I began my lamentation about feeling guilty and worthless for having been so lazy, to which he responded by SENDING ME A TEXT MESSAGE FROM THE ROOM NEXT DOOR linking me to an article about how intelligent people are lazier because they sit quietly with their thoughts and are therefore less often bored/compelled toward the activities of daily living.
It was in this moment that I booked a plane ticket to California for the following day because flying 6000 miles away from the bottomless bag of granola was my only chance for salvation. And yes I know problems eventually catch up with you, in fact I have so many of them that they travel with me in real time even at 550 mph.
The next day on the plane the man two seats to my right snored so loudly he overpowered my earplugs AND my xanax, while the two women to my left spoke at 194 decibels until the moment I finally surrendered any attempt to sleep, at which point they agreed to "try to take a nap" and then went silent. The woman behind me coughed every 11 seconds for the full 11 hours. The flamboyant steward patronized me for having requested a black tea with milk, responding "oh you mean white tea??" I could handle neither his attitude nor this level of ignorance and so respectfully informed him that the classification of white, green, or black tea was based on the amount of processing/oxidation of the leaves and not on the addition or not of milk. This proved a massive mistake, launching him into cycles of pure and passive aggression for more than eight hours. Even the beautiful, emotionally intelligent woman immediately to my right spilled her entire tomato juice on my white shirt, jacket, and designer backpack when we hit a patch of rough air. Standing in line at the airplane toilets I emotionlessly gazed at the emergency exit door where an unattended toddler dangled with all her body weight on the big metal lever/handle that could have sucked us both out into oblivion had she been just a few kilos heavier. I had zero volition to attempt to stop her.
Anyway, ten days in California went too quickly and before I could even eat a burrito I was on another plane heading back east. A pit stop in Milan for focaccia and a baggage change preceded the early morning flight out to Israel with Yarden and Alessandra. The trip was inspired by our friend Nadav's nuptials. Aside from being defined by his recent status update as a husband and physician, Nadav is also one of the five readers of this website and self-proclaimed #1 fan. He actually sends me hate mail when too much time has passed between posts. From the moment we touched down he interjected his not so subtle hopes that this would be his fifteen minutes to break out into Vive la Liv fame. It worked. (HI NADAV!)
In addition to the beautiful matrimony, this ten day trip to Israel was extraordinary. If you're looking for a place to go that has history, culture, spirituality, extreme landscapes, delicious food, excavated kingdoms and major metropolitan areas, look no further. There weren't even any episodes of diarrhea or vomiting, just one solemn afternoon when I lost a few significant chunks of hair following an aggressive blowout at a shitty salon marketed by the skanky south african employee as "the best in tel aviv." I so obviously should have known better.
that ain't kosher.
And now I'm back in Milan and back to work, with more body weight and markedly less hair that also smells remarkably of tempura, reminding me of those days in Israel and the dream that is falafel.