22:14 Wednesday July 4th 2018

One of the existentialists wrote about it - "That nameless sadness that comes over you in hotel rooms, places not imbued with your presence". It might have been Jean-Paul Sartre, or Maurice Merleau-Ponty, or Martin Buber. Is it really just a way of saying we need familiarity for comfort? That we relate emotionally to our surroundings by hundreds of habitual bodily interactions. That home is not where you feel secure, but where it never occurs to you to feel insecure?

The trouble with emotions is, they're rarely about what they're focused on. You think you're being impatient with scissors that won't cut, but you're really worried about how you're going to pay the rent. You think you love your ex, but really you want to start a family because you've never quite shaken the notion that it makes you respectable - to people who you despise and who you know will never respect you.

I've got almost no appetite at the moment. I'm simply not hungry. I've asked to receive only the final meal of each day, and when it comes, eating it feels more like a duty. It's fresh, well-prepared, healthy and tasty meditaranian fare - but half a plate is enough.

This is me who can munch through an entire packet of chocolate biscuits, just to have something to go with some cups of tea. This is me who can buy a variety six-pack of crisps, intending to have them occasionally as a treat - but knowing full well they'll all be gone within an hour. And when I'm depressed, I eat <i>more</i>.

I wrote a long, rambling email to mother earlier - mainly so I could miss her less by chatting "with" her for a while. But I hardly ever chatted with her while she was in the same house.

Aren't you supposed to get <i>more</i> emotionally self-sufficient as the years go by?

There was a moment, in October 2011, when I'd been living in Saudi for a week or two. I found myself back at home with my parents, happy to be there, happy to have returned. But then I realised I had no idea <i>how</i> I'd returned. And then I woke up, in my Saudi hotel room, and felt very sad for a few minutes.

But it was just a moment, and I settled in quickly. Now I'm homesick every night.

I think I know what this feels like. Not heartache but heartbreak. I've been briefly in love a few times, but the only one that really counts was with Nick. I was 32, he was closeted, and it would never have worked. And yes, I knew at the time it would never work even as I was desperately searching for a way to <i>make</i> it work.

We had one night together, and I held him close for so long because I knew I'd never get another chance.

So what I'm saying is, I feel like I've been dumped. This is...grief. But the only things I've lost are 24-hour wi-fi and a hot shower. While gaining half a dozen new friends, and time for the little creative projects I didn't have time for before.

There is a shower, but it's lukewarm.


  1. Well, at least the food is good and you're not being held as part of a harem soon to be ravaged by your captor...

    Feelings happen for a reason. Embrace them, then move on. They are a reflection of where you are in that particular moment. They are a valid expression of your heart and soul.

    In uncertain times, I use the Serenity Prayer as my guide-my mantra when all hell breaks loose:

    Grant me the Serenity to accept the things that I cannot change,
    The Courage to change the things I can,
    And the Wisdom to know the difference.

    Have you thought about boiling some water and making yourself a nice hot bath? Wait a minute, this is Turkey! Aren't there any Turkish baths nearby? What about Turkish delights?