|A year ago today I am waking up partially in a room in Alexandria, Egypt. The air is wet and relatively cool compared to the dead heat of the day. Nights are too hot so we've taken to dragging what we can of the heavy metal-framed bed onto our tiny balcony. It's still early, quiet enough to hear the sink in the corner of the musty room—bloop...bloop. I'm still buried under the mosquito net that we hooked up to the barrier separating our balcony from our neighbors'. Gregg has worked his way out of it; too suffocating for him.
Gregg kept a little black book in which he wrote each night, very diligently and very small. He recorded the abbreviated events of the day, usually mundane things that are good at triggering detailed memories. Because he did, I didn't have to, and it's great now to have an account of every day of our year away. This is especially striking for me as I transition back to sedentary life in America. For each day that we were on the road, I have a mental record—some more vivid than others, but a memory nonetheless. Travels are long over, but it doesn't take much to time travel to the crooked alleys of a souk in Morocco, or a streetside bench on mud-packed ground in Mali, or a room, like the one in Alexandria. This is remarkable because I can't remember what I did three days ago.
I have a job now. Ask me how long I've had it and I'd probably say three or four weeks—I couldn't say for sure. Every day is different with the million little things I do, but a week passes in one incredible blur. The wake-up-work-eat-sleep-routine without little natural daylight is startling because I'm accepting this as a habit.