There’s a certain toll taken on those who are stuck in a situation where most things are beyond control. That toll, in me at least, manifests itself in a certain escalation of what I’ll call brain freeze. I don’t remember things people tell me, I get distracted more than I’ve ever been, I can’t sleep, and I’m turning to beer and munchies to fire up the misfiring synapses.
One problem is that Bob, Daniel and I are stuck in a hotel together. Granted, it’s a suite so that there are actually four separate rooms – bathroom, bedroom, main room, and kitchen – but with the seven large suitcases, the cat cowering under the sleeper sofa, the leftover food, the litter box and the three laptops, three iPods, one iPad and various other electronics, the place is packed full.
When it rains, like today, the feeling of being both trapped and handicapped by brain freeze is all the more acute.
Yesterday we tried to visit the 9/11 memorial at the American History museum, but the line was hours long. We wandered around the museum for a bit, feeling aimless, and wandered back past memorials and statues we had never noticed before. We’re a bit like tourists in our own home, which is not altogether a terrible feeling, but it is disconcerting.
These are all, in the words of many of our friends, First World problems. We have food, a place to sleep, and coffee any time we want it. We’re staying in a place with an exercise room and a business center and a laundry. When the cat doesn’t come out from under the sofa, I can go to the Safeway and buy her four different kinds of cat treats.
At the same time, even First World problems can get old.