It’s a cold, dreary, rainy day in Atlanta. The downpour and the gloomy atmosphere are fitting, for they match my mood at this very moment. The rain, it appears, is a metaphor for what is going on inside of me. You see folks, I have crippling diarrhea. There is a storm of brown, murky water swirling on the inside of me, looking for any available point for which to make its exit.
I got back from Ghana last night, and I should be very grateful. I say “should be” because I left, landed and returned with life and limb intact. However that is where the grace ends, for you see folks: I HAVE CRIPPLING DIARRHEA.
Can you imagine how that feels? Knowing somewhere in the world some devoted fan is devouring my debut novel, The Daughters of Swallows, and that in that very same moment my bowels are greedily preying upon themselves?
International Selling Author Writhes About in Pain on Porcelain Throne as Someone in The World is Reading her Book!
You think that ever happens to President Obama? Sure he generally looks are suave on TV, but every once in a while he gets this look on his face. Perhaps, and this is just me thinking out loud, while the pundits are screeching over healthcare, he may have a poo-litical battle raging within him as well. Is that why he purses his lips like that from time to time? Like “Yeah, yeah, this is all very exciting guys, but I had some bad sushi last night, and I really need to get back to the Oval Office and take a crap over all your opinion!”
You ever wonder if the masterful and brilliant Peter Jackson ever contemplates these same things? Surely he has. Like “Yeah, you’re watching Lord of The Rings now, but have you ever considered that there might be a ring of fire encircled around my anus at this very moment?! No more milk-based donuts on set please…”
Because that’s where I am now, MOM Squad and Random Readers, in all my “brilliance” I have been brought low by spasmodic contractions of my large (and I presume, small) intestines. When I envisioned my triumphant return from Ghana, completely sold out of every volume I carried on the plane with me, I never once saw myself on my knees in defeat in the bathroom, crying out to God and the ancestors for their mercy and assistance!
What did I eat? Was it that kebab from the blood drive in Korle Bu? My father has warned me about the germs swirling around that area. The presence of super germs in what was once the Korle Lagoon might have cut through the air and touched something I ate or drank. I say it was once a lagoon, because it is now little more than a liquid body storing feces under the oppressive equatorial sun. The stench is unimaginable. It literally goes into your chest and rips the breath from your body.
Was it something I drank? I always drink bottled water, but ever since I encountered a Made in Ghana-tapped from Aburi – draped with the American flag bottle of water earlier this year, I realized one can’t be too certain about their drinking water sources. Deception of the highest order!
What I am trying to get to is this: I wanted to write all about my two week adventure in Ghana from the beginning, but I am now having to reverse engineer that process. You have to come with me down this rabbit hole backwards. You have to feel this pain, in this moment. Why? I don’t know. Because I asked you to. Because you are compassionate. Because I am delirious from dehydration and the online world and all that dwell within are the only people I have in this America to keep me sane!
Have you ever fervently wished that someone would rip the beating heart from your chest just to make the pain of heartbreak, disappointment and turmoil dissipate from your life? You know that the snatching of your heart will cause you immense pain, but it can’t be any worse than what you are experiencing now. You have, haven’t you?
My advice? Don’t do it again!
This is precisely what this bubbling in my stomach feels like. Like a cauldron overflowing with sticky green ooze and some extraterrestrial being is drawing it out in 8 oz batches four or more times an HOUR.
I’m back. But don’t expect perfection on the blog for at least another week. I’ve been crapping my brains out since Thursday and my thoughts, memories and mental faculties are sketchy. I can tell you that some of the highlights of the trip involve a 1.3 million cedi bra, an encounter with a ghost, and being confronted with the face of clueless, blissful, self-assured patriarchy.
I’ve missed you guys. Did you miss me? ‘Course you did! How could you not miss that face?