God I feel light and free. My skin is cleaning, my anxiety is dissipating, my multiple sclerosis is going into remission, my tanning bed burn is fading, I’m losing inches off my waistline. Life is grand!
We lost so much this year…the Obamas, pride in our nation, my long and beautiful hair (for which many are still in mourning)… but whilst the world melted down and we became closer and closer to nuclear annihilation, I found ways to stay entertained, delighted, and discovered ways to bring joy back into to my life. (Lolz, I sound like Oprah.)
It came to me in a dream, a gastronomic fever dream. In my mind, whilst dying of what could have been the most severe headache in human history, I saw toasted corn tortillas stuffed with curried egg salad. Upon awakening and rejoining the living, my stomach lurched, and my legs propelled me into the kitchen. After downing about four liters of espresso, I began concocting my divinely inspired culinary creation.
Monday: Why don’t you get to the cinema and see Coco, the new masterpiece by Disney and Pixar? I saw it this weekend and was delighted by the gorgeous animation, […]
We went to Planet Fitness and one of the employees took us on a tour. She showed us all the exercise equipment which we politely nodded at, but she quickly became disgusted with us after she asked what our fitness goals were. “To be tan,” I replied, quite seriously. She scoffed somewhat but controlled her rage and gave us the tour of the massage chairs, tanning beds, and body vibrator things. This looked delightful so we signed up at once.
After many months, I’m back. Summer was decadent and glorious. Soon you’ll hear all about it! Monday: Why don’t you have a large picture of yourself printed up doing something […]
She said something profound right then, after tutting dismissively at me, “You just live, Ben! Don’t listen to anybody, and if they ask what’s wrong, say that you fell in a damn ditch and you hurt your knee. OH! And always talk to the bartender; he has all the right answers and you don’t have to take him home.”
“Queen!” I muttered, but I don’t think she understood.
The memories of my childhood are few and far between. Someday a therapist will sort all that out, but I really don’t mind. I’m quite all right with the creature […]
Land returned to view and I was delighted by my first sight of Saudi Arabia. The sands were red and lovely. I smiled to myself, getting over my depression, I was flying over regions of the world that nobody in my generation would have dared to dream about years and years ago. So many of them still believe that the Middle East is a dangerous place — and it can be — but so can small towns in America. There is danger everywhere, but it need not ruin our ability to explore or lessen the chance to broaden our horizons. The world is absolutely wonderful and I’m so in love with it. I’m so glad that I got over any cultural fear I had and let myself discover this beloved region.
Nobody bothered me as I stood there. All the touts knew me and knew I had my people. They were nothing but friends and strangers now. I was no longer a source of revenue. I was just a man. I was just Ben standing beside the Nile. I really don’t know how long I was there, but as I did, my life began to pass by in my memories. I was back at Egyptian Treasures with my dad and Donald, talking about Cairo and dreaming of treasure. I was on an ancient computer in elementary school furiously printing pages from the Theban Mapping Project. I was in Barnes and Noble buying discounted books. I was in the Louvre staring at hieroglyphs. I was screaming at textbooks. I was dreaming of the future. I was back on a rooftop in Giza with Lady M. I was wandering through temples with Abdul. I was breaking the Ramadan fast at the Khan el-Khalili. I was dreaming of digging. I was in raptures at the thought of the basements of the Egyptian Museum. I was drinking Stella again with Hassan. I was back by the Nile. And I was an Egyptian through and through.