Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 17

told my friends on WhatsApp that I was almost back to
normal. I wasn't.
I started radiation when I could swallow a cup of coffee in public and walk for several hours every day with
my aunts. I drank lattes and hot chocolates. Because I
could. We walked all over Boston. Just to see it. But by
week four, I was spontaneously projectile-coughing snot
out of my mouth. I sequestered myself in an apartment
and only came out for radiation sessions or spin classes
in a dark gym. I watched all ten seasons and change of
the Great British Bakeoff. I told myself I would eat all of
it when this over. I learned how to make maps on ARC
GIS. I hated everyone.
Somehow, at some point, the radiation stopped. I moved
back onto my parents' couch. Literally. I started a puzzle with pretty fish labeled in French. Then somehow, at
some point, I woke up. I was SO HUNGRY. I poured as
much liquid food that my body could physically handle
plus whatever meals I could swallow. I started with bread
and butter. Obviously. I trained for food like I trained
for marathons - same routine, every day. No exceptions.
Butter healed me. My plants and I moved into a real
bedroom. With a real bed. I started running again. I
stopped crying every day. My voice got better and better.
My head got smaller and smaller. My feeding tube was
removed. The French NGO liked my new mapping skills.
I started doing job interviews.
I eat whatever. I drink whatever. I can speak now - even
sing. I can do Zoom cocktail hours and Skype calls. I'm
not saying any of this is easy. Nothing is easy when your
tongue can't move. I'm not saying I know who I am. I'm
not grateful for this experience. I'm not sure that I learned
anything. I don't value life any more than I did before. I
can't eat properly. And I have a speech impediment. And
scars across my neck and thigh. My face is permanently
swollen. But I run 12 miles every day, practice yoga three
to four times a week, and cycle outside two to three times a
week. Maybe I'm training for a marathon? I dunno. And I
got a job in Afghanistan - I don't know when I'll move out
there because of COVID, but I got the job. There is still so
much to do - so many countries to see and so much food
to eat and so many things to say. All I know is that I'm going to wake up tomorrow. And I'm going to practice yoga.
And I'm going to run 12 miles or more. Because I can. l

There is still so
much to do - so
many countries to
see and so much
food to eat and so
many things to say.
All I know is that
I'm going to wake
up tomorrow.
And I'm going to
practice yoga. And
I'm going to run 12
miles or more.
Because I can.

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
JUNE 2020

17


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Elephants And Tea - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - June 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 3
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 4
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 5
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 6
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - 7
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Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover3
Elephants And Tea - June 2020 - Cover4
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