I have no evidence for the following statement, nor can I fully guarantee its accuracy but just like when you fall in love, sometimes you just know. I know that I went somewhere else that night. I know I’ve been back since. That event seems to have cracked open a door in mind that has since affected what and whom I am drawn towards. Where did I go? Let me tell you.
As the four outboard motors grumbled to life, the sky was almost black and the stars were popping like pinpricks in a cardboard box. The 15 minute boat ride to the island was the longest it’s ever been. I hit the jetty running and headed straight towards the dining room where most people would be taking their evening meal.
Almost passing out on a stone tile floor had left me a little shaken and I was considering asking to go to hospital but I couldn’t face getting on a small speedboat and crossing the sea to a tiny clinic where nobody spoke English and I would have to do the whole thing again coming back. Instead, I ate some medicine, tried to get some sleep and the next day, I felt a little better. This was perhaps ‘The Dark Night of the Soul’. My body and my mind were frail, in danger of collapse and suffering greatly. There may be nothing worse than being ill and feeling like you have nobody to care for you. I buried myself in my room for a few days and tried to keep my spirits up.
A big lesson I needed to learn/am still learning, is that when you turn 30 you start to notice subtle changes in the way your body looks. In other words, a battle with gravity is stirring in no mans land. Political dissent is brewing in your thighs and there’s an bingo wing armada on the horizon.
The drop in temperature as I climbed towards the national park in which the volcano lived was astonishing. I shivered as icy winds licked my fingers. You are never prepared for the cold when you are in South East Asia, you almost forget what it feels like and because your body is so used to being at a balmy 30 C, even the slightest drop renders you a shivering mess.