The dangerous cocktail of jet lag and altitude change -7,206′ to be exact- one that only Addis Ababa can provide, is in full effect. 8pm arrives and every single ailment seems to have hit me all at once. I can’t survive any longer. M u s t. s l e e p. Brushing my teeth is an eternity, and for some unexplainable misfortune my mascara is now tar that wont come of my fucking face. Time seems to move slower at this altitude, which only increases the number of hours I lack in sleep.
I cover my face with self-tanning lotion. orange is alright. And then place an eye-mask over the two dark circles that have become my eyes and hope for the best. It never occurs to me that despite having an eye-mask on I still can see the small sliver of light from my door, which is perpetually slightly ajar due to the fact it is too large for the door jamb. I hear an unknown male voice in the living room, where I had left my best friend watching TV minutes earlier. The conversation seems suspicious as a second male voice enters and I smell smoke. Is she really that dumb to try to score weed on our second day here? and at our apartment no less? It is very clear to me that we should at least know someone for a couple of weeks before that’s even a convo… can’t trust a hoe. And while all of this is happening my phone is blowing up with group texts from my boyfriend’s mom, who has randomly become pregnant and eloped to India, and is sending us photos… tons and tons of photos. I am confused why no one is responding… I clearly can’t respond, I am three sheets to the wind- and not in a fun way. The male voices come to a crescendo as my bestie, who has clearly become stupid due to the altitude, walks them to the door. Door closes. Lock. The sound of “SNATCH” playing on the TV seems to get louder and I clearly need to intervene with my imbecile best friend, so I pull of my eye mask and enter the living room in manic paranoid frenzy.
Nothing happened. I had been asleep for about an hour and a half while she was peacefully watching an Arabic subtitled version of Lord of the Rings on TV, and working on her book- Yeah, she’s a published author, but more on that later- No texts from my boyfriend’s mom, who is neither pregnant nor in India, and no one, except for me, was acting crazy. The reality of my mental and physical state sinks in as I slowly wobble off-balance to my room, grab my computer, and slowly wobble back to the couch.