I am taking David Sedaris’s Master class, Storytelling and Humor and really enjoying it. One of his suggestions is to keep a journal. My first thought was, yeah, yeah that’s what everyone says.
But David’s journaling is a bit different than most. He suggests writing daily about observations and experiences. Makes sense.
So I thought I’d share one of my recent journal entries. Here goes!
January 4, 2020
I’m trying to decide what I liked most about my first visit to New York City. Getting to meet up with friends was a highlight for sure. And standing on the deck of the 86th-floor of The Empire State Building surrounded by frozen rails at sunset was just over-the-top.
The first two and a half days, I was on my own to meet up with friends and explore the city. We stayed in Midtown Manhattan because it was close to work for John. He was there on business while I just tagged along for the ride.
The very first morning I walked out of our hotel up to 5th Avenue, took a right and headed into the busy streets of NYC. As I was walking up 5th, I noticed a lot of people looking behind me up towards the sky and taking photos. When I turned around I got my very first view of The Empire State Building.
John was up on the 67th floor of that building working away. I smiled not feeling guilty at all.
I walked around a bit then took a few rights to get back to Park Avenue where I had a lunch date with an online friend. Probably the single most amazing benefit from starting this blog is the opportunity to become good friends with women from all over the world.
Phyllis lives in Brooklyn and we have been online buddies for about two years. This was our first chance to meet in person, and she braved the cold soupy weather just to come to see me.
We chatted over brunch for about three hours and it felt like we had been close friends all our lives. We both hated to leave, but Phyllis needed to catch the next train home and hailed a cab like a true New Yorker the minute we stepped out to the curb.
A quick hug goodbye and she was whisked away by the skilled Yellow Cab driver. Smiling, I set off on foot to find the nearby Trader Joe’s so I could stock our room with a few snacks and supplies.
Okay, I wasn’t going to write about this next part, but what the hell.
Everything was going great until it wasn’t. On my way to TJ’s, I experienced something that has happened to me a few times before. It isn’t fun. At all.
I had an IBS attack right there on the streets of New York with people hurrying past me. My brow was sweating, my guts were cramping, I felt like I was going to faint and it was all I could do to keep putting one foot in front of the other praying I’d make it to TJ’s and into their bathroom before passing out.
My mind was swimming with thoughts of what would happen if I actually passed out on the street, or worse yet, if I couldn’t control it and shit myself right there and then. Would someone call the police? Would John get a call at work saying his wife was laying on the street in a brown puddle?
Thankfully, none of those things happened.
If you’ve ever experienced an IBS episode, I am sorry that you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t and you are looking up what IBS is…good, I hope you never know.
I definitely won’t be adding that episode to the “what I liked best about New York” part but still, it happened. I guess life isn’t just brunch and buildings and best friends. Sometimes it’s about making it to the bathroom in time.
Once I was back in our room at the hotel, I was okay. I made fun of my situation by sending funny gifs to John and my son, Adam. And honestly, despite the bowel issues, I had a great day. I not only got to meet up with a dear friend but I also got my bearings and couldn’t wait to see where the next day would take me.
As David Sedaris would say, “You are so privileged to be a writer. So privileged, because for normal people when something bad happens to them there’s nothing they can do with it. Except feel bad or complain or press charges.”
So I wrote about it.
…more to come