Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A bitter pill to swallow

Returning from a holiday is always a bitter sweat affair. On the one hand I languish at returning to the monotonous status quo and on the other hand I am delighted being home around all that’s familiar and comforting.

Our return home was a shitty affair! We got food poisoning on our first day back – damn pizza! My husband and I were close to death; or rather that’s how I felt. I was waiting for the white light and the short film of my life to flash before my eyes.

Between nausea and diarrhea, I learned one important thing about modern medicine: Suppository pills were invented by an evil person. The first time I got intimately acquainted with a suppository I swear I didn’t know what it was. Then someone explained to me how it worked and I was briefly traumatized. The second trauma came when I had to take it. Basic human anatomy dictates that no foreign object wants to stay lodged in the human rectum and naturally wants to get out, and I feared the damn thing was going to slip out. Then when I learned that body temperature melts the pill I was concerned about anal seepage. Hence, my first suppository experience was stressful, painful and unpleasant (not much unlike when I lost my virginity) and I was not looking forward to a repeat performance even though this time I would be better prepared.

Unfortunately the suppository pill was the only thing that helped for the nausea and at one stage I weighed up which was worse - taking the pill up my bum or surrendering to the nausea and letting nature take its course. The suppository won! I know this may sound weird, a gay guy complaining about taking anything up his bum, but I have the firm belief that medication should be taken orally and the other way round is just wrong. Luckily the food poisoning only lasted 24 hours. It was the longest and most uncomfortable 24 hours I experienced in quite some time.

I few days later I returned to work. I didn’t feel ready to go back, I didn’t want to go, I felt sorry for myself and I felt like a seven year old school child going back to school (but without the tears and tantrums). I was not the only one whose jaw could plow a corn field being so dreadfully unexcited at being back at the office. Returning back to work is always fraught with obstacles. The first few days back felt like I was navigating my way through office politics without a compass. It takes a couple of meetings and reading through my overflowing e-mail inbox before it all to comes flooding back: The overbearing colleague, the colleague with the tumultuous and violent lesbian relationship, the back stabber, the adulterer and the self pitying singles. Reestablishing me in the tribe takes some skillful diplomacy, grinding of teeth, faking smiles and reconnecting with people who for a few weeks will feel like utter strangers. The only solace at this point is the reality that nothing has really changed, the work remains the same and the people too, it’s just my mindset that needs to reset to an acceptable compliant state. I have to grind my teeth, fake a smile and push on. However, diplomacy as always will remain the most challenging.

Till next time.

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