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Alayna’s Black Cloud Of Doom….

Do you ever have the feeling like, upon the day of birth, some people are simply cursed? No matter how well you plan, no matter how hard you try to be a good person, do the right thing, share love with others, bad things keep happening, as if a random black cloud follows you around, ensuring everything you touch or get close to in any way will fall apart?

I have that feeling all the time. I am that black cloud.

I say this as I sit in my apartment that is 80 degrees with the air conditioning ON. Obviously it has ceased to work, something I’ve been telling the apartment for over a year, as the effectiveness of the AC unit steadily decreases, and my energy bills increase with each passing month. Every time, they send someone over to look at things and tell me it is “fine”.

It is NOT fine.

Most people would tolerate the inconvenience of it being 80 degrees indoors with some semblance of normalcy, but last year, the black cloud of doom turned a trip to the beach into an episode where I suffered mild heat stroke, 2nd degree sunburn over 60% of my body, dehydration, and an infection that went untreated for too long. In addition to gaining 25 pounds over the past year, being diagnosed with a permanent inner ear disorder, blood pressure related issues, hypoglycemia, and confusing medical issues I never had before, I also have the inability to regulate body temperature. In short, I do not sweat. My body just stores up heat until my skin starts to resemble a cooking surface for eggs. No AC is kind of not great for me.

If you want more evidence of the black cloud of doom that follows me, I’ve been planning a trip to see some friends for the past month and a half. My original intent was to go to NYC and Philly, and stop to see a friend in the Durham area along the way. Sadly, I am still not allowed to fly, at not healthy enough for such a long non-stop bus trip, particularly in the June heat. So, my plans changed to a more manageable Southern excursion, visiting my friend in Durham, and then off to catch up with some other friends in Charlotte.

A week or so ago, I had a huge fight with my friend in Durham, which resulted in him threatening to no longer continue being my friend. We are indeed still friends, but he said, “I no longer have the level of trust in you where I feel comfortable having you stay in my home”…which kind of sucks coming from someone you’d like to consider a friend, but, c’est la vie. Problem is, he’d agreed to have me stay at his place for an additional two days I’d added to my trip to do things around the area, leaving me to find other accommodations on relatively short notice.

Fortunately, I did, and I had a pleasant enough conversation with the friend I’m no longer certain is a friend or merely an acquaintance who is amused by me….who agreed to pick me up from the bus station when I arrived (but more about that later.), so I thought the whole trip thing was settled.

Wrong. Yesterday, I found out the second person who offered to host me would be unavailable to do so, and I haven’t been able to connect with anyone in the area who is. So, it looks like I’m going to have to pay for a hotel for another two nights.

Then there’s the matter of the bus. Like many Northeasterners, I’m familiar with the comfort and convenience of the Chinatown bus line…which gets you where you want to go without switching buses 5 times and giving you an 8 hour stop in Richmond, like Greyhound.

On Wednesday, I found out that my bus to Durham was actually canceled. This was annoying, because I had to reschedule via Greyhound, which meant taking a bus to Raleigh and then spending another $40 for a cab to my already pre-paid hotel in Durham. Fortunately, when I told my friend in the area about my predicament, he offered to come pick me up, which was quite nice of him (especially since the previous week, I got the impression I was no longer a particularly favoured person in his life.). But, still…this stuff only happens to me.

By “this stuff”, I mean not that a bus is canceled, which can happen to anyone, but that there’s’ a huge bust that puts multiple bus lines out of business days before your planned travel dates. Yeah. This is the kind of stuff that happens when I try to travel.

So, to recap. Broken A/C, sick Alayna, friend who no longer trusts me enough to let me crash on his floor, second host who backed out at the last minute, canceled bus, shutdown of buses I’ve been riding on for years that are apparently death traps, and needing to spend more money than desired on hotels. And I haven’t even packed a bag yet.

Part of the reason I travel is to put the complexities of my everyday life in perspective, take a break from situations that stress me out, and have fun exploring and having a great time with old friends…and often making new ones along the way. I haven’t been able to travel since being so ill last summer, and this is my first foray out into the great big world alone. I should be applauded for getting up the courage to do this, to take a huge step toward reclaiming my independence. Yet, the Universe seems to want me to have the most difficult time possible achieving this.

I’d hate to see what might have happened if I’d decided to go to New York, Philly, or D.C. instead. I’m pretty sure if I’d been allowed on a plane, there would have been a hurricane, or a suspected terrorist attack.

Seriously, life. I am over the black cloud of doom that thinks “one step forward, two steps back” is a fun game to play with my life.

It would be awesome if you could refrain from sending me a hurricane while I’m traveling, and my dog doesn’t run away from the person taking care of her. Of course, she’ll probably just be happy to have A/C.

I’m trying really hard to keep my life simple, fun, and not over-complicate everything. It would be awesome if you, life, would cooperate. Thank you. :)

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