One year ago I woke up not feeling great. I had just returned from Los Angeles and a speaking date at the Dwell on Design Conference. I had arrived the morning before, after an overnight flight and flew headlong into a twelve-hour workday. As morning broke, a slight shiver crawled over my skin, which I fought off with a hot shower and a slow walk in the summer sun to the subway.
My day was slow but was punctuated with two large engagements. First I was to speak on the radio; a long-distance interview with a lovely lady in Los Angeles about modern home cookery and my presentation at that weekend’s design conference. Second, I was scheduled to say goodbye to two of my closest friends, who were preparing to move to Colombia to open a restaurant and plan a Texan wedding.
I arrived at the radio station, with the chill creeping all over my body with relentless attention to detail. In took a nap, bumped into a friend who manages one of your favorite rock and roll bands, and had a glass of water as I stumbled into the freezing studio. The disembodied voice a few thousand miles away poured into my ears and awoke my senses. I tried my best to conjure up some fire and passion, some connective energy to bring my hollow voice to the thousands of listeners who were driving around LA.
It went well, to say I told a joke and conveyed some interesting, if not somewhat longwinded explanations and stories. I stumbled back into the heat of the day hoping for the sun to overcome the cold in my bones. I found Shamus’s restaurant around the corner and although he wasn’t there I filled my shivering shell with soup and starchy deliciousness I was sure would break the cold.
Time swept away and as I finished my last bite I began to meander uptown not in a particular rush to find my wayward friends. It was hot, the kind of hot reserved normally for Augusts in New York. Sticky, offensive and completely unsatisfying to my cold blood, I fell over some where in the mid-twenties. I was in the sun and next to a tree that had the most delicate pink blossoms. I lost an hour next to that tree; awash in sunlight, freezing to the core.
A cab dragged me uptown and dropped me off on the couch of my friends surrounded by boxes in mid-pack. Dinner plans we confirmed and I slept shaking under the slight breeze of the massive air conditioner. As the sun fell I crawled back to the village, surrounded by loved ones but lost to the world.
As I said my goodbyes, after beers and hot sandwiches I struggled my way into bed and a fever that would not break for another thirty days. With a dog-shaped cow by my side, I shivered my way through fifteen days with rumors of swine flu and the vibrations became unbearable. So on the fifteenth of July 2009 I found myself in an emergency room uptown with the hopes of finding out the mysterious monster that was attacking my insides.
It was there that I almost died.
After two long weeks the vicious monster was tracked lingering around, with its guard down, complacent with the total devastation it had wracked upon my body. With a strong blast of chemicals nastier than you could imagine my breath was back. The chill was gone, the shakes were broken and beaten back, but I was ruined and barely able to speak or walk.
Just a few days after my triumphant release I met up for the logistical planning of a super-weapon that was to rain damage upon the meatball world. Laden with a daily toxic intake and a shattered body, I, for the first time in six weeks, was able to look to the future and to all of the things I was so excited to accomplish.
Thank you all for your help and support. Thank you for always being there. Thank you for phone calls, visits, Turkish Food, tears, and letting me beat you at word games!