2006- Entry 10: Reality Check


Yes, it is nearly 5 AM……. jet lag has set in.
I think I fell asleep when we left Thailand before we even hit cruising altitude! The next thing I knew it was 7 hours later, and we were somewhere over Siberia heading for Santaland on the Polar Express 2!  (I really have to learn how to fly without taking Xanax!) I shuffle to the bathroom on the plane, throw some water on my face and realize that I am indeed headed Stateside……….. The past six weeks somewhat like a dream already. As we fly over the Arctic, I somehow think that I am inappropriately dressed in short-sleeved shirt and shorts in the event that the plane has to make an emergency landing of some sort…… Poor planning on my part! Thankfully we traverse the cold Northlands without the need to test the thickness of the ice with a huge Airbus loaded with passengers and enough baggage to stock a few Targets, Kohls, Macys and Neiman-Marcus stores (depending on the class its owner was traveling in)! I can scarcely believe my ears when an announcement is made as we approach the US air space that “due to US regulations” passengers will not be permitted to congregate in groups anywhere on the plane………………….. oh, P.S. I almost forgot…welcome to the land of the free………… 
Before I knew it, we were landing at JFK. A quick stop through Homeland Security (why do I feel like I should be clicking my heals whenever I say that?) and a customs agent yelling to some travelers that there is ONE line, thank you, so get on it… (despite the fact that everyone was all clumped together and only the next three persons awaiting a customs agent were actually on anything approaching a line…. There were,however, a few agents standing around who could have brought some order to the chaos. One complaining that his schedule had him back working on Saturdays, blah, blah, blah). I’m still in “Thai-mode” so I really couldn’t care less…. or maybe it is still the Xanax.. hard to tell.
The air that greets me upon leaving the terminal is cool and fresh— all the more inviting after being in a “controlled environment” for the last 20+ hours in planes and airports.
The “limo” is there at 6:30 am to pick me up. There is some sort of talk-show host speaking at the speed of light on the radio—– it is too difficult for me to even care to contemplate what he is talking about. The traffic is at a standstill on the Belt Parkway— accident ahead—- welcome back to Long Island…………………..
The driver gets us to Patchogue via Sunrise Hwy. I am a little surprised that the key actually opens the door. I manage to drag all the bags and baggage of my six weeks and deposit them in various spots— no need to rush to unpack…..
The car starts immediately as if it were awaiting my arrival and couldn’t wait to get out on the road after being locked up so long. I’m feeling great! Alert, alive and focused! The post office has a box with my PO box number on it. Thankfully, I deposit half of the bulk in the recycle bin…… the rest to go through……. later… you know, like the unpacking…..
I entered Stop and Shop to pick up a few essentials. I am carried down the aisles on the Musak gently playing from the speakers somewhere.. I can’t help but note that if “1984” ever really does happen someday, this would be the perfect music to leave you in a controlled semi-comatose state….. or could it be jet-lag? No, I’m too alert, alive and focused for that to be the case.
I get home and manage to get the mail and my purchases in their assigned places. It is 12:30… maybe I should get to Costco…… well, let’s just lie her a bit, watch some CNN and………………………………………………………………………………………………….
It was 7:30 when I finally awoke……… somehow the TV was off, the house somewhat dark. ugh! I know this dooms me to the future of prowling around the apartment till early morning doing all those typically insane little tasks one does when one cannot sleep. None of them include unpacking, however. That would mean that the vacation is over. That I’m back. But I must say that it is nice waking up in my own bed again……..
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