PHETASY: The One That Got Away -
Five Remaining Shades of Cray
Bridget Phetasy

By Bridget Phetasy
Published on 03.30.13

"I may be crazy, but it keeps me from going insane."

~Waylon Jennings

Jet Lag Delirium

"I may be crazy, but it keeps me from going insane."

~Waylon Jennings

MARCH 27, 2013 --  Los Angeles – 2:10 AM


46.  Just because I believe jet lag isn’t real, doesn’t mean that belief is true.  I suppose I should review my denial of things like “chronic sleep disorder” (you’re lazy) and “oppositional defiance disorder” (you’re 14) because it’s approaching 3AM and I am not even tired.  I passed out at 18:30 and woke up thinking I slept through the night.  It was 21:47.  Okay jet lag.  You exist.   But that doesn’t mean you win.


Coming home is always surreal and dreamlike.  Last July, my jet lag is so terrible when I come off 7 months of globe-trotting, it takes me days to orient myself in space and time.


For instance: I wake up in bed and it takes 10 minutes to convince myself it wasn't all just a dream. 


Or--I smoke a J at a party and get temporary amnesia.  NO IDEA where I am or how I arrived there. More importantly, I have no idea what country I am in.  I could be anywhere.  I look around at all the people and don’t know a soul. 


I panick.  Where am I????  Tokyo?  Buenos Aires? Why would I think that?  I’ve never even been to Buenos Aires!!!! 


My heart racing, I backtrack one step at a time:  I drove here.  I parked on Stoner (actually the name of the street). Okay...I remember now...I’m in LA.  I got home two days ago… I’m okay.  I’m okay.  It definitely gave me a taste of what it feels like to slip away into dementia.  I pray to be spared that cruel fate.  It must be absolutely terrifying.


47.  Given the fact that I have come full circle, I don’t feel half as crazy as I was expecting.  Last year at this time I was eating filet with foie gras and celebrating “Dom Perignon Tuesdays”.  How the mighty have fallen. 


I thought for SURE I would come off my most recent journey to Sri Lanka and India far more effed in the head than when I came back after a seven-month First Class tour of the First World.  As I mentioned, I was a mess when I returned last July.  It persisted right through the Fall.  Utter confusion and deep depression.  I was worried my life had just peaked and it would never get any better. 


Here’s an excerpt from a blog I wrote and never posted because I felt it was just too dark, just to give you an idea of where my head was at:




This is hands-down the longest I’ve gone without writing in about 12 years.  Which probably explains why I feel like my return ticket from seven months abroad--was a one-way trip to Crazytown.


Writers NEED to write.  At least I do.  The ever-present narrator in my mind never shuts the fuck up—if I don’t give that voice expression, it turns on me.  It’s like a button gets pushed, sirens wail and a sign signaling SELF-DESTRUCT starts blinking. It begins with the unnerving feeling I’m going crazy.  It ends when I chase down the blinking cursor and write for my fucking life. 


I’ve been spinning like a top since the moment I touched down in the United States of Entitlement.  I’m a human Dreidel on acid.  Not sure where I belong.  Not sure where I’m going.  Not sure what I’m doing.  The only thing that I’m sure of (as usual) is that I need to write.  I repeat.  Not WANT to write, that would be wonderful if it were just a cute little hobby…like scrapbooking or making jewelry.  I NEED to write.  Especially after eating from the trough of experience like a little piggy.  Writing is as necessary as digesting.  At the moment, I’m creatively constipated--even pooping out this blog requires more effort than usual. 


Maybe that explains why I’ve put on weight.   10 pounds to be exact.  Globetrotting, consuming nothing but decadence and then following that routine up with a sedentary stint on a goat farm—where chocolate/peanut butter ice cream is a way of life--will do that to a person.  And as of yesterday, I just hit my 34th year on the Planet Earth in this particular body of this particular lifetime.  So the weight doesn’t fall off like it did in my twenties.  Needless to say I’m feeling fat and old. 


I’m at that age where all of a sudden the Dom belly doesn’t come off so easily.  It’s the same age when all the sudden you have to start pondering the question of whether or not you want kids.  Seriously.


It’s also the age that you start to realize all those dirty old men who constantly remind you via comments on your YouTube channel that you will be “nothing when your looks fade”—may be right. 


It’s the age you start realizing your unrealized dreams.  I don’t have the security blanket of a potential ex-husband who has to pay me alimony.  Or just a man who has to pay me child support.  I don’t have a 401K.  I don’t have a retirement plan.  I don’t have credit.  Credit cards.  Debt.  Car payments. Or a mortgage.   Or even somethings as useless as a BA.  On paper, I’m a giant loser.  What happens to someone like me?


Ridiculous, I know.  But I have hour upon hour to beat myself up for letting myself go on all fronts (body, mind & spirit) while I sit and milk those goats 8 to 12 hours a day.  I also get to listen to hippy small talk for hour upon precious hour.  The kind of mind-numbing, New Age drivel laced with words like “manifestation”, “consciousness”, “synchronicity” and “spirit guide”.  It’s usually followed up with a discourse on the “illuminati”, “conspiracy” and  the“Reptilian new world order”.  Stacked in between these meaty conversations, hour upon hour of elitist foodism chatter with catch phrases like, “organic”, “sustainable”, "free range" and “holistic” are sprinkled. It’s rounded out with drug-addled tales of Burning Man or String Cheese Incident or old Dead Shows, laced with some junkie pride and finished off with an overdose of sexuality, anal sex tips, “polyamory” and bi-curiosity.


I don't belong anywhere.  Even with my limited connection to the "system" and pathetic life resume, I'm still in much deeper than most of these off-the-grid gypsies here on the goat farm, are.   I’m never sure whether to idolize them—or hate them.   In some respects, I admire their anarchy.  In others, I loathe their innocence and wide-eyed view at the world through the perpetually rose-colored glasses of marijuana smoke.


MARCH 27, 2013 – LOS ANGELES – 3:42  AM


48.  As you can see, last year, I had some serious issues.  Busy battling demons coming from all angles.  Attacking my beliefs and perceptions.  Breaking me down.  This year, I return to more material problems.  Money.  Job.  I find these kinds of problems much easier to tackle than the soul-searching, what-am-I-doing-with-my-life, emotional kind. 

Although given my current circumstances, I should probably be asking myself exactly that question.


I currently have .82 in my bank account because I spent my last $400 on a sketch comedy class I just had to sign up for while I was sitting in INDIA.  At Trader Joe’s the other night I hit rock bottom when I had to put back a bottle of wine because I couldn’t afford it.  The bottle of wine cost $4.





But-- either this jet lag is makin’ me delirious or I’m losing it, because I’ve never been happier. In fact, I haven’t felt this good in years.  Clear.  Light.  Focused.


I’d say I at least look like at least 150 Indian rupees.


49.  Reverse culture shock makes you realize why traveling is so important. Your country looks different.  The "Map of the Globe" shower curtain I have facing inwards so I can shower dream about traveling…looks different. 


Everything is exactly the same, yet completely different.  That’s when you realize YOU’VE changed.  You have new eyes.  New perceptions.  New tastes.  New horizons, borders, boundaries.  When you travel abroad, you give yourself time to adjust to the culture shock—it’s just as important, if not MORE so, when you return home to do the same.  It takes a minute to integrate all that new information into an old routine.


On my “Map of the Globe” shower curtain, there are places I used to longingly look at while washing my hair and think “I can go there.” And now I’ve gone.  That feeling of longing has been replaced with memories that make my soul soar, my heart pound, my lips curl up in a sly smile at the thought of some of the images I have burned in my brain forever.


MARCH 28, 2013 – 1 HOUR OF SLEEP – 13:29


Now I yearn for that same, exhilarating sensation on stage.  Because every single time I see a stand up comedian I think,  “I can do that.”  And I’ve done it enough to know that the closest I’m going to come to the rush I get from free-wheeling around the globe, is getting on that stage.  Over and over and over again.  It’s also the only path compelling enough for me to make the commitment to stay in LA for at least three months, when I decided that beginning April 1 I intend to do 75 open mics in 90 days. 

Hold me to it.


At this very moment, however, you will find me in a t-shirt and hippie pants I purchased recently for 200 rupees ($4.00) in India.  They are sheer, ¾ length pants that make everyone wearing them look like a Hobbit (something I don't need help with).  I’m comfortably reclined in my beloved bed!, drinking tea and writing this blog.  (Although I don’t think I can allow myself to write from the comfort of my bed anymore.  I take too many porn breaks.)  All the money and resources I pour in to this apartment are worth every penny.  Solitude is necessary.  And priceless.


50.   I mention in Part 1, I need to hold myself POW.  I'm definitely losing the war to my Self. (Or winning the battle???) She's currently holding me hostage with no phone and no money. Self isn’t even asking for a ransom.  She just wants quiet and time to write.  The only thing to do in the face of those circumstances?  Write like a mother fucker. Drain the brain. 


Which is exactly what I’m doing.


So, I suppose I should address some of the questions the last blog raised.  I never got off that beach to see more of Sri Lanka—pathetic I know--I was in Hikkaduwa the whole time.  My father is doing great, thanks for asking.  I made it to India. 

I feel electric*.

*But I know this feeling.  This is the high coming off the trip.  It's how you deal with the low that makes or breaks you.  I guess we shall see what state I'm in the by the next blog.