Thursday, May 15, 2014

transitional post about reality

Why has it been so hard to write about my experience at Camp Koru?

I thought I didn't have the words, that I needed to process my experience before I could give it form. But you know me, I struggle trying not to be verbose. I thought I couldn't do it justice, that I didn't possess the voice or vocabulary to honor the place and the people. But I know the one thing I can do is write.

The fact is, I have been hanging on to every precious bit of that trip. Trying to describe it means analysis and definition, and for the time being I have enjoyed keeping it pure. I have enjoyed snippets of camp washing through my memory, and reliving it aloud puts it in the past and me in the present, and I haven't been ready for that. I came home to the half-unpacked apartment I had left, tired but happy. I tried to finish unpacking but kept having to nap. I went to a play, then out after with my friends and the cast, and I woke up barely able to rise. Was I hungover? I only had a beer and a whiskey, plenty of water. Maybe I was still recovering from my trip. I slept most of the day, dreaming of Maui and the ocean, missing the people I had met there.

The next evening, a spot I thought was an irritation from my bikini turned quickly into a prickly rash. I could feel it spreading. I thought it was typhus or some other tropical malady I had contracted when I unpacked my suitcase. I cried a little, called my family, got a ride to the ER. Four hours of waiting and watching a drunk college student's hand bleed three times through his bandages before they finally wheeled him back, I gave up and went home to sleep on an ice pack. My oncologist diagnosed shingles the following morning.

The post-camp glow is over. I am in bed with no appetite or energy, with the feeling that I was struck in the ribs with the broad side of a white-hot poker. This is the present, camp is the past, and now I can talk about it. another post, so I don't taint it with my disgusting shingles problem.

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