So. Here I am, still a bit shaky, sitting at a desk in a cheap motel in Pittsburgh that smells like wet dog soaked in ashtray. But after the last 4 days it’s a tiny victory. And a slice of heaven. A place to get out of 3 day old clothes and undies, wash my hair, smooth over dry skin, launder my clothes and get a full night’s sleep before tackling the bus system. I haven’t slept at all in the last 2.5 days except for 20 minutes on one flight. It was supposed to be an easy 2 flight trip with a short convenient stopover for lunch, arriving the same afternoon. Instead it was a nightmare clusterfuck of missed connections and impossible standby’s that never amounted to anything. My baggage however made it to Pittsburgh in easy breezy time! Last night was spent in Chicago airport after I got helpfully redirected after missing out on multiple standbys, but I didn’t try to sleep. The airport was a giant, freezing cold, echoey ghost metropolis of endless corridors as I went on a search for an area with broken air-conditioning. Along the way I chatted to the occasional cleaner or security guard. They told me it wasn’t just me, it was too cold for them too. Really the vibe was a freaky all night until people started to pour in around 5am and the airport became its writhing pulsing normal self again.
Backing up the story a little… getting off the island and to the Nicaraguan airport was task enough. It took ALL day by ferry buses and taxis till nearly midnight. My love insisted on safely escorting me with the hopes of changing my mind along the way. It was really tough, I kept doubting my decision. He was so certain I was making the biggest mistake.
An hour or so after sunrise, as I was checking in at Continental in Managua, after he put my bags down on the scale, I took out my passport and ticket, gave it to the agent, turned around to talk to him and he was GONE. I searched for him outside, but he was nowhere to be found. He didn’t want to be. Panic shot through my body, turning the lump in my throat to stone. No last kiss… no goodbye of any kind. Dazed I turned around and went through the security checkpoint. Wondering, “what am I doing? It’s going to be alright, right? It’s going to be fine.”
Backing up to two days earlier… that’s where the thing happened. My last farewell night with him and our friends was like a dream. We were joined by a good friend of his, a girl he’d been seeing before he and I met. An absolutely exquisite, brainy, tall leggy blonde from Austria, who didn’t just look like an angel, she also has a specialised job volunteering for orphans in a crucial way. I’ll call her Angel for this story so she can remain anonymous, and because she is one. Even though I was in awe of her, I’d always felt a bit awkward around Angel because there had been an overlap of sorts between us with Thiago, which I didn’t know about ’till afterwards. So things were a bit messy in the beginning because of that. I never really knew how to talk to her or what to say, and so, in the guy way I usually deal with things of this nature, I just avoided her completely and never spoke a word to her, even though they remained great friends. But this night, she came, and brought her new boyfriend from Argentina, who turned out, like her to be one of the most unforgettable people I will ever meet.
Guitars were played, tables drummed to the rythm, salt shakers shook, Angel was playing this kids toy organ and singing. Boy, can she sing. The vibe was dazzling. We had great food, I ordered a couple of cocktails. For hours I felt rocked by the music soothing my racing mind over the dreaded parting. I loved watching him, smiling so much, laughing, in his element playing the guitar. I hadn’t felt that connected and calm around him in a really long time. We weren’t sitting near each other at all, yet at the same time, felt a deep mutual connectedness and bliss. I enjoyed a shared spliff, for the first time in two and a half months. It was a special occasion.
It’s when I got up to leave that it all got weird. At first I thought, “whoah, I must be really drunk! Oh no, I can hardly walk!! I have to get out of here. I need to go home!” I felt panicky and adrenalin was pumping. I wasnt nauseous, the room wasnt spinning. But everything seemed to be shouting, my brain was shouting a million orders to me at once and I couldnt make a single decision for a single movement. I flopped down again in a chair, and asked Thiago to walk me to the bathroom so I could have some privacy. But Instead I slowly stood up and started to hobble in the other direction towards the door in a desperate attempt to escape the nightmare. I panicked again, because I realised, “Oh no! I can’t just leave!! I have to say goodbye to everyone but how am I going to? I can hardly stand without shaking, I must try to get home with the tiny energy I have left. what do I do?” Such hard goodbyes too requiring complex social interactions that possible forever goodbyes demand. Every sense was shouting at me, every colour bewildering, every voice banging, every smell bombarding… I was completely overwhelmed. Then I started to see bright specks in my vision, then a white blinding flash as my eyes closed and I felt myself falling…
Thiago caught my fall as best he could and lay me down on the ground where I was apparently out cold for about 2 minutes. I heard him play the guitar, and I heard voices saying he was playing the guitar for me to bring me back… to follow the music out of the dream. As I woke up all I could see were completely unidentifiable moving coloured objects. I didnt know what people were, what the floor was, and I remember saying robitically and fast, “what am I, what am I, where am I, where am I, whats going on? whats going on!!” I had no idea what I was, nevermind who. Then faces started to make sense and so did the room as a thought came up firmly and calmly explaining, “You know this stuff. These are people. You know them. Yes. And that’s a table. Something happened.” and slowly I started to see that it was Angel right in front of me on the floor asking if I was ok. And her boyfriend holding me on the side. I was absolutely certain I was dreaming all of existence up, that nothing was real. Everyone was rushing around. Again I got completely overwhelmed by stimulus and felt myself get sucked back into an even deeper dream, falling… falling. Then everything was dark and warm. I heard this loud earthquake and felt my body flop into a crack created by the earth splitting, making the loudest sound drowning out all voices, roaring rumbles and a lightning storm behind my eyes. Such an amazing experince to wake up out of that, all these faces peering into me from all angles. They seemed even more worried and started to rush around.
Angel and a friend put me on my back and lifted my legs up onto a chair, and got me some sugar water with a bit of salt. I was being constantly touched and moved as my eyes boggled around me. Drinking the liquid I started to come out of it. Such relief… feeling better. But then I realised, “Oh crap, this… this isn’t a dream! Something bad has happened because everyone looks really worried… and I feel… I don’t feel normal.” Angel was still there, right in front of me, holding my hands and reassuring me. I felt so embarrassed. Of all the people in the world, she was helping me through it all along the way. Our eyes connected like my only lifeline as she explained what was happening and stroked my hand. Such kindness in this woman… I was overwhelmed that she was showing it to me of all the people in the world. It was unreal. Her boyfriend guided my thoughts back to reality with just the right words. He knew somehow what I was feeling, or found a way to connect right into me, and made it seem like the most normal thing in the world to guide me back through the door into the light. I started to ask her what happened and she seemed hesistant to tell me anything just yet. Then I realised… the earthquake… that was my body banging around off everything really fast, convulsing… I’d had a fit. A fit? Yes. How is this possible?! Nobody has fits in our family. It’s never happened before. But yes, my mind was completely scrambled. My knee was banged and my back was scraped. Then I saw Thiago slide down the wall and collapse onto the ground laughing. So relieved. So grateful. I was going to be OK. I was talking and sitting up. He had spent the last while in an intense meditation, focusing all his energy on me. He had not seen me have the fit.
The dog that had been next to me but on Angels lap, nudging her anxiously for the past hour before the incident, had not left my side though the whole episode. Her boyfriend told me that it knew before it happened that something was wasn’t right with me. As it stood by me, her boyfriend took the huge rough cut quartz crystal around his neck, pressed it up against the dogs side with the flat palm of his hand, put Angel’s hand on top, and anyone else wanting to put in a hand creating a huge mass of love, then took my hand and plugged it in safely underneath the warm pile. Still guiding me through, and filling me gently with energy, with increasing clarity until I was soon standing again and carried home by Thiago.
Back in our room I was walking around to every corner of the room in the dark, looking for him. I wasn’t able to figure out that by simply standing still and turning my head I could find him much more easily. So instead I walked around slowly, feeling everything around me, going through a process of elimination of where he could be in the room, coming up with nothing, and going over the room again. Looking, looking. He found me milling around in circles calling “Thiago…? Thiago?” like an escaped mental patient and put me in bed, with strict orders not to get out. He was afraid I might actually be drunk and throw up while lying on my back and suffocate myself, but I wasn’t drunk. I wasn’t even nauseous. No. It was something else. He left to get me water and again to get me something else I wanted. As I am completely willful by nature I got out of bed and went to the bathroom while he was gone. I didn’t need to go as much as I needed to know I could. That I could manage by myself. When he came back up I was grinning to myself that I’d gotten away with it. Yes, this must be a sign that I’m returning to normal. Back to Olivia. Whatever normalcy that is. He left again to get me even more things I asked for downstairs and carefully watched over me all night.
Then something creepy happened. I woke up suddenly from a dream as I heard a loud warning in my head shouting, “Wake up! Someone is coming! There is someone at the door!” Usually this happens to me EVERY time before a breakin. And because of that I wake up and catch them before they enter every time. A sixth sense? I don’t know. Angels looking over me? I stared at the door, I noticed it was ajar letting in cool air from the outside, but there was no-one there. Then out of nowhere I saw the dark shadowy edge of a man and an arm reach out to the doorknob. I sat up and shouted, “Thaigo! Thiago! There’s someone at the door! There’s someone at the door!” and just as that happened, the arm pulled the door and it slammed shut. I heard footsteps going down the staircase. Thiago woke up from the slam, said it was the wind, and went back to sleep. The security guard heard it slam too. I still dont know if I was hallucinating, but I definitely woke up before it happened and was lying there watching the door. And its an unbelievable coincidence it would slam like that right at that moment.
I’m not really even 100% sure how accurate my first-hand account of this experience is, but I have done my best here.
I spoke to my mom about that fit the next day. She said what I also felt might have caused it but never said out loud: a massive conflict in thoughts over leaving, pulling me apart inside, overwhelming the senses, causing some kind of mental meltdown.
This is really hard. I miss him. As I knew I would. I have no idea what the future holds for us. I hope it holds something good, something worth all of this unending craziness. I hope in the end, there is finally a gentle peace between us, and a contented life, the feelings that settled on me so softly that night listening to him play. I know I’m not really doing ok. At least, not yet. I know that he can’t be either. Still, every day I will be hoping that he is doing better than I am.
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