I’m back, though my muse is not. Where could she be, I wonder. Did she leave me somewhere between those two crazy weeks when I hopped from one home to another, never staying for more than two nights at a time, with hardly any sleep, while I ate, drank, talked, played, danced, sang, cried, walked, froze, got sick, and even sicker? Or did I leave her, when I decided that it was time for me to grow up and start this new year without dreams of aimless wandering to places unknown because the truth is I have more responsibilities and more realities to deal with than I would care to admit?

And so here I am, words swimming in my head, nary a lucid thought or inspiration. I’ve been staying at home for three days now, per doctor’s order, dutifully taking my meds every 6 hours or so and having my much-needed rest. Every once in a while I would pick up a book, only to put it down again after reading a paragraph or two. Even Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist, an all-time favorite, seemed like a blur. My new moleskine notebook, which I bought in an attempt to capture those “in the moment” thoughts as they come and while I move from place to place (perhaps to follow Chatwin and Hemingway’s tradition), is surprisingly empty, except for those few pages of disorganized musings when I was stranded at the airport and praying to God that the lady behind the American Airlines counter would call my name from her ever-growing list of standby passengers on a New Year’s day flight to the West Coast. She did call my name and before I knew it I was back on the sunny side, taking in that sweet-smelling air that is uniquely San Francisco.

But alas, even the sight of the bay and its beautiful hills could not move me. The sound of an old cable car, once music to my ears, went unnoticed as I dragged my heavy suitcase and my aching limbs up the flight of stairs to an empty apartment. For the first time since I moved to this city, I felt something akin to loneliness. It came unexpectedly, as I was looking forward to a moment of solitude after being surrounded by people and constant activity for the past couple of days. I kept thinking: is it just me, have I changed? Is this what I really want? Or am I just thinking too much again? Maybe my mind, just like my body, is also in need of rest. Maybe a cup of tea, a bowl of chicken noodle soup, and lots of uninterrupted sleep is all I need and my muse will come to me again. Maybe she will come quietly, just like she used to, and I would be amazed at the beauty of the ordinary little things again. Maybe.


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