“It smells like horrible things have happened in here,” Paul Senior said on a brief visit to my room. He was right. My new room smelled like sewage. The changes around home had not been entirely favorable to me.
My perfect health record had been blemished the previous week or so when I broke out in a fantastic rash in the middle of a high profile meeting. I tended to blame formerly acquired minor rashes on my laundry. The service has always come with a free rash, but I was reluctant to lodge any complaints with my launderer. He was a military general in the time of the Soviets, now he does my laundry. This new rash was comparatively special and looked a little like radiation poisoning.
The following week, in the middle of my workday, some men had come into the office and taken all the furniture away, then glued down a new carpet. Later, when I got home, I was internally displaced from my standard living area and moved to a room that smelled like sewage and fresh paint. Between the toxicity of my home and my job, I was high all the time. I forgot all the precious new ideas for my blog. I woke up every day with a brand new headache. Critical thinking didn’t go as smoothly as before.
The lost blog ideas weren’t destined to come to fruition anyhow, as the internet at work had also become internally displaced.
“I can’t do this! I can’t live without the internet!” I threw up my hands.
“It’s only a few days,” Ramin said.
“Fariba said it’s until the end of May,” I said. It was the first week of May.
“Yes, few days, few days. This is Afghanistan. I have become a pure Afghan.” Ramin followed up with a few stories about how the local tendency to underestimate time and distance had endangered his life over the years, particularly where activities such as hiking and swimming were concerned.