I keep finding myself staring out the window. I’m in the middle of a scene change. If my thought process were a movie, we’ve moved from a busy kitchen in a downtown New York restaurant, to the back waters of a lake in Canada. The sounds of waiters shouting orders, clanging pots, and furious knife cutting stopped with the insertion of a needle.
The screen went black.
Birds chirped while a faint sound of water, trickled in the background.
I cannot change a thing that is going on in Doha right now. Little travelers have had days off school, someone attempted to wear make-up, someone went home with a fever and was then found playing outside. I cannot do a thing about it. I’m in the backwaters.
I cannot contribute to anything going on in my house in Australia right now. Each morning my father walks into my bedroom wearing a “Mr Happy” t-shirt and a pair of stripey pajamas. “How are you love?” My mother feeds me vegetables and brings continuous supplies of water and cranberry juice. I hear them living beyond my bedroom door, in between floating in and out of sleep.
Our conversations are snippets. Something about lotto, something about the Melbourne Cup. I’m almost with them and then it’s time to return to the trickling water and the birds in the backwaters. Serious thoughts slowly move into focus, infections, school camps, hospital bills, and then I realize I can’t – not yet.
“I might just have a sleep”.
I cannot rewind or fast forward, because both will have me in a world that I am not capable of inhabiting, nor facing, just yet.
I’m in the backwaters.
I keep finding myself staring out the window.