Sunday, October 5, 2014

How to get high.

Catch a plane to an unknown world.
Believe me, there is no greater high.
In fact, there's nothing like it in the world.
It hits you. All at once. And brutally hard. A sucker-punch to the face with a little, breath-stealing, hug afterward.
You're suddenly on a budget plane that you pray doesn't crash because it was so, so, so damn cheap.
You're surrounded by a sea of people who don't speak your language. In fact, there's a billion languages around you.
You're flying to a city, to a country, to an experience you've never been and had. A city you've only seen in the movies. A city so big and busy it has it's own heartbeat.
Thump, thump, thump. Goes the heart. Of the city and you.
You forgot that you had to have your water bottle empty before the flight.
You chug 24 ounces of water while in line. 30 seconds flat.
You feel like you have to puke.
Instead, you go to the bathroom on the plane so many times people start laughing.
And then you laugh too.
Because it's crazy. It's insane. It's every emotion you've ever had colliding like the Amazon river and the Atlantic.
Your heart feels like a mini-heart attack, thump, ThUMp, THUMP, skipping beats along with the shaky rhythm of the plane. It skips more beats with every bounce and spin of turbulence.
You get off the plane and all your feelings double. Triple. Hell, maybe even more than that.
You just don't know anymore.
It's absolute pure excitement mixed with absolute pure terror.
You thought you prepared. Read all the right books. Talked to all the right people. But your mind races and goes blank.
About 30 Thai Baht to the Dollar? Right? Easy when something is 30 or 60 or 90 Baht. But it gets difficult when it gets to 720 or 872 or some other odd, high number. You're a social worker, not a mathematician.
Little to nothing is in English nor in the Khmer you started to learn.
Time to start over again in the language department.
The city is massive. Skyscrapers all around you kiss and melt into the clear sky. Unlike Cambodia where it was somewhat flat. The lights and sounds are intoxicating and pulsing.
You booked a hostel online that looked good, looked smooth, but no matter how much you researched it, you're going to be dropped in the middle of nowhere.
You're alone after making a ton of good friends and bar companions and fellow adventurers that took you around the previous city and town.
Now it's just you. Because, of course, this is your adventure. And your smart phone is dying and is anything but smart without a signal.
Shit, you think, why didn't I write down the street names? Why didn't I bring a physical map?
But it's okay.
It's totally and utterly alright.
Because then the high kicks in again. Even stronger. All your senses turn on like you've never felt before.
Every neuron is excited.
Because every smell burns and soothes, every sight becomes bright and overpowering. The sounds are chaotic and beautiful and noisy and...
"It's just too much," you say.
You have to lay down. But not before you pet the dog outside your door dressed up in a Superman costume.
No!
Not yet!
Then you get right back up because the high is still ever so strong.
You have to see and explore and use this mish-mash of feelings.
It's nighttime. They warned you to go out alone.
You do it anyway.
This is a unique high. One you can't get at the corner or in an alley.
This is a high that is quite honestly the best high you'll ever get.
You end up at a bar (well, you think it's a bar at least), watching Thai MTV in the middle of Bangkok, writing on your laptop because somewhere, ANYWHERE, you have to write out the explosions in your head. Try to make sense of it all.
And you realize that being alive, through the worst and best, is the finest thing there is.
And tomorrow, you explore and meet new people and truly live, just to make sure this high - this clean and natural and gorgeous high - lasts as long
as it
possibly
can.

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