I step off the plane, in about as good shape as possible. Light sleep for an hour or so on the way over. Email queue down. I walk a half mile from the plane to customs, glancing back through the rain-blurred windows of Heathrow at the massive 747 receding into the gray. Wasn't I just here?
The cab curves through the roundabouts and onto the freeway. Outside, giant fluffy white flakes of snow pour from the sky, transmuting instantly to water. I peel off my coat in the back, warm and nauseous from lack of sleep. I marvel at the weather. Living in SF, you don't really ever get to see it snow like this. I think of my brother and his family, digging out from the blizzard in Brooklyn. The cabbie mumbles into his phone. Underworld comes up on my phone, and it's perfect.
The cab drives away, leaving me on the grimy streets in front of one of the 3 Sony offices. I walk to the right. Wrong door. Back down another block, dodging puddles and noticing these streets have nearly no curb cuts. I sign in, ride the lift up and walk into the conference room, meetings already underway.
I am trying hard to stay awake. Periods of clarity and lucidity weave into realizing I'm drifting off...I focus on the meeting. I get up and walk around. Stretch my legs, my hips. Pay attention. I drink water and take an ibuprofen to deflect an incoming headache. The hours from 3 pm to 5 pm seem to take an eternity. I keep thinking of bed.
Cheery conversation waiting for the lift. Meetings were successful. Everyone bundling up for the commute home. Scarves. Hats. Parkas. I zip up my improbably thin and small REI jacket, put in my earphones, and roll my bag outside.
It's 1 degree Celsius. The sun has set. I'm wrestling my bag through the London streets. Wardour. "Walk down Wardour to Saint-Germain". "I found you shopping in Europa on Wardour Street". The W emerges from the Asian neon neighborhood. It feels like I'm in Blade Runner.
Boots finally off. I feel deconstructed, as does my room. The bathroom sink is in the middle of it. The shower and toilet hide in mirrored closets. It's 19:00. Drinking water. Music is on. I stare at the computer, catching up.
I blink. I'm on the bed, computer in hand. I try to stay awake longer. Shortly after 8, I give up. I fumble with the light switches, watching the room flare from full-on to some lights to mood lighting, but never complete darkness. I slip on my mask and fall asleep in a futuristic dim purple glow.
I drift awake. Clock says 1:45. I drink water. Close my eyes. Focus on my breathing. Relax. My leg twitches.
It's 6:45. I sit up. Looks cold outside. I pull on a t-shirt and jeans. Call room service, which seems to arrive before I even put the phone down. Coffee. Omelet.
I sit at the table and listen to piano music, write this, and think of you.