Seldom Said

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lost In Time

We woke up yesterday morning to find that it had snowed overnight here on Long Island. Only a few inches, but given the incredibly clear conditions the previous day, it still came as a bit of a surprise. To me, at any rate; probably just another symptom of my spatio-temporal dislocation.

I now have absolutely no idea what time or day it is. Which wouldn't be a problem, except my body also seems to be completely clueless. I'm getting more sleep than I'm used to at home, but feel tired all the time. I'm eating well, and at regular intervals, but feel hungry all the time. Even my digestive system is confused. It feels like my mind is subtly out of phase with my body.

And it's not just a physical sensation. I'm reading tweets and emails as usual, but everything seems to be happening at some significant remove. It's as if I'm observing my normal life through a time tunnel, from some indeterminate time in the future. Replying to an email makes me feel uneasy, like I'm breaking the laws of physics.

Perhaps my natural sense of dislocation is being exacerbated by the equally natural chaos that is gripping my brother and his new family at the moment. Having a tiny baby in the house turns your world upside down, and little Max was in a thoroughly disruptive mood yesterday - and the previous night.

When we did manage to get out of the house, I felt much more anchored in reality, even though the surroundings were subtly alien in so many ways. My dad, my brother and I went for a bitterly cold, but very welcome walk around Babylon in the snow, hoping to take some pictures.

This is one of the things that I most enjoy about visiting new places: wandering around and noticing the small (and not-so-small) differences that tell you you're "not in Kansas any more". Here, it's the wide streets, the construction of the houses (they're almost all made of wood, rather than brick), the fire hydrants, the mail boxes and the way that street names are displayed: vertically, on a square-sided pole at the street corners.

Looking forward to more of this today. The snow's still here, but the sun is shining again and I think (hope!) our hosts had a better night's sleep. Time to explore...


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