It’s 5:30 AM and it’s Sydney and the weather is better right now where I am than where I was before I got on the plane (two big planes: five & a half hours big, and fifteen hours big). There, New York City (where I was before the planes) it’s 1:30PM and three degrees celsius (fahrenheit translation: just above freezing, you know, cold). Here in Annandale, in Sydney (home) I’m in my pjs (sushi ones, cotton) and there’s no steam pipes making strange noises and overheating the house. Here it’s twenty celsius (fahrenheit translation: warmish, especially compared to NYC).
My head is fuzzy.
We were in economy sitting in narrow little seats that tilt back only slightly. Hands in lap, head back, eyes closed, I’d sleep for whole minutes at a time, then wake to the joy of discovering I was a whole five minutes closer to Sydney. I tried to watch the movies, but the sound through the headphones made me grind my teeth. I watched fragments with a sound track of the plane’s engines and a baby crying and flight attendants offering me drinks and stale turkey sandwiches. “Water, please. No, thank you.” I kept hoping Clive Owen, Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, and Angelina Jolie would blow up, but only Jolie did.
I think the fuzziness in my head started in the airport at San Francisco in between the five-and-a-half-hour plane and the fifteen-hour one. A grey wooliness started creeping into my thoughts, slowing my tongue down. I read a lot, but now, sitting on the couch in Sydney, I find I can’t remember anything I read. Except something about Zora Neale Hurston and a town in Texas (or was it Florida?).
As I write this I’ve been watching the back yard slowly get brighter. The sky behind the ferns and gums and bottlebrush has gone from near black to midnight blue to pale grey. The birds called to each other through every change, sounding nothing like the birds in San Miguel. Now the dawn is over, but the sky is still pale grey. Overcast, no blue skies, no internal-clock-resetting sunlight. Yay.
Last night, Sydney time, I went to bed at 10PM proud of myself for staying awake so long. We’d arrived at 7:30AM. I lay there, listening to the faint sound of the television in the next room, the louder whine of a mosquito. I didn’t hear traffic or sirens or fireworks. I thought about reading, then I thought about writing. I fell asleep. I woke up and wondered why Aunty Jack always had her/his hair in curlers. How would you put them in with boxing gloves on? I fell asleep again.
At 4AM I wrote a list of everything I have to do in the next few weeks. It wasn’t very long:
- do rewrites
- email people
At the time I had a niggling suspicion I was forgetting something. Having reread it I find I am correct. There are zillions of other things I am supposed to do in the next few weeks. I do not remember what any of them are. Also, what rewrites?
I begin a list of people to email. It isn’t very long either. My sister, my mother and my father’s names are on it. They already know I’m here. We had breakfast together. Scott and I gave them presents.
Now it’s 7AM and my eyelids have decided to stop fighting gravity. The fuzziness has eaten my head.
Sydney, 15 March 2004