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@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
Fly Away (Oh Glory!)
I’ll spare you details of some ongoing urology problems and my apparently shitty kidneys that aren’t good at their stupid job (you have one job, kidneys, ONE JOB!). There I was. Pants pulled down to my ankles having a conversation with my new urologist, telling him all about my family’s history of being hospitalized for kidney stones. Riveting stuff if you’re a urologist. I kept stuttering over my words which has been happening more and more as of late. It’s even happened on stage a few times, and while I’ve always been a mumbler, I’ve never had a stutter. What the dick pick is this shit (new catch phrase!)? Who develops a stutter at 30 years old? I’m at a urologist for renal issues like I’m 60 years old and also developing a stutter like I’m 6 and struggling with speech. Fantastic. I’m aging in different directions.
“That is unfortunate,” the doctor says in regard to my family history. This guy doesn’t waste words. Right to it. I liked him because he broke down what the tests meant and explained it to me as though I wasn’t an idiot, and for the most part I understood because for the most part I’m not an idiot. I have a lot of questions and he takes his time to answer them (I’m very thorough in researching and doctors are either annoyed or impressed by my laundry list of questions). And then there’s a moment when I’m just looking at the floor thinking if I have any other questions.
“You look very sad,” he says, direct.
Despite my face, this made me chuckle.
“I am sad,” I replied, surprised I admitted to it, “in general. Not because of my uterus. I mean, I’m kind of sad about my uterus but that’s not why I look sad.”
“Okay. Well, I can’t do anything about the other stuff, but we can make sure your uterus and kidneys are alright and so you’ll be more comfortable while you’re unhappy.”
“That sounds good.”
That sounds necessary. Because two weeks from that appointment I was flying to Costa Rica and I don’t want any health problems while I’m away. People in my family seem have a knack for being hospitalized on vacations (myself included).
You might be thinking to yourself, “what the dick pic is this shit? (my catch phrase is catching fire, I can tell) Aren’t you poor? How are you going on holiday? And why are you saying ‘on holiday’ like you’re British?”
Remember I did that TV taping at the end of 2018? You probably don’t because I didn’t make the TV edit. I did, however, get a nice paycheck. And yes, I am broke, but I’m a gypsy. I don’t owe anyone any money (in fact, people owe me money right now). So fuck you guys and your judgments. Poor people are allowed to go on vacations. I never spend any money on myself and I’m going to be 30 this year and for seven years straight I’ve gone to the movies alone on my birthday. (When I was justifying my trip to my writing partner, I said, “you know, I don’t go out to eat or buy nice clothes,” and he said, “obviously” in regards to my shitty fashion sense).
Originally, my plan was to go to Thailand… by myself. The plan was I wouldn’t tell my parents until I sent a hand written letter right before I left so they’d get it when I was already there because they’d be furious that I went across the world by myself. But I canceled my Thailand flight and booked Costa Rica instead, in hopes my brother would join for a surf trip. It wouldn’t be a hard sell. Costa Rica has some of the most consistent waves in the world. There’s also monkeys in rainforests with waterfalls and volcanoes. You’d be stupid not to spend your Comedy Central check on such a trip.
Here’s how I know I need this…
When I wake up in the morning I don’t even want to go on the trip. I’m so blue I wish I took two weeks off from work to lay in the fetal position in my bed, close the blinds, turn my phone off and just be still. I’m skinny from being depressed, I’m actually trying to gain weight for vacation (what an obnoxious statement— also by weight I mean muscle because I’m a frail little bitch right now). Though you’d be surprised how much money you save if you don’t buy food. There are times in the day I’m not looking forward to it at all. And there’s a little voice in me that’s like, “what the fucking dick pic shit is this? A trip to Costa Rica?! Are you fucking kidding me, you’ve been dreaming of going there since you were eleven. Shut the fuck up. This is going to be fucking dope as shit, you should be stoked.”
Here’s what I know for certain: You cannot be sad while surfing a wave. It’s impossible. You could be sad in the ocean waiting for a wave, sure, but while you’re actually surfing– sadness can’t touch you. You’re immune. In the moment of pure fun.
Rest assured, as the day wears on I (usually) come out of it a little bit. Sometimes in dawns on me all of a sudden like I just won something, “I’m going to be surfing in Costa Rica in days. FUCK YEAH! Hiking volcanoes. FUCK YEAH! Swinging in the rainforest with monkeys. FUCK YEAH! Snorkeling in pristine water . FUCK YEAH!” I even do a little dance when I remember how fucking stoked I am for this trip.
A break from New York cold, all the bull shit in the business, the clues seeming left behind by the universe of a heartache. I need a break from it. I need a break. It’s not a cure, there is no cure, but I’ve never looked back at traveled adventures and regretted dropping money on it (also, it’s not that much money). It’s a reset button.
Even though I look forward to traveling solo, I’d much prefer my half evil twin with me on a surf trip. The OPPs (original Palminteri pirates). Always I’m forgetting that I don’t have to versus the world on my own… there are plenty of people who will draw their swords with me, and even more who will raise a glass and drink to the sinking sounds of our spirits, some form of divinity withering away. Lest we find ways not to forget to laugh at it.
It had been my fear that I’d get a lecture from my ever fiscally responsible parents about this trip, but even they admit you have to live your life. In fact, they were jealous when they started looking at pictures. I tried to encourage them to come, but they have plans elsewhere. My folks begged that I don’t do any hikes alone, that I force my brother to go even if he’d rather be surfing. They do know me, my parents. My friends were also relieved to know I was traveling with my brother.
“You look like someone who people want to kidnap.”
“Because I have blond hair?”
“Yes. And you’re easy to carry.”
When we were little kids and we went on vacation, the first thing my sister, brother and I would do when we got the hotel/condo is we’d run to the bedroom and jump on the beds. We’d jump on the beds, arms stretched high as to fly away.
Costa Rica, here comes trouble. We’re both half crazy, me and my brother, so together we’re a full psychotic person. Surfing, snorkeling, spear fishing, hiking, monkeys, volcanoes… that’s fucking heaven for Lori Palminteri. There’s even a thought that comes and goes that I’ll never return.
Remember there is a whole world out there. A decent amount of it is terrible. Filled horrible poisonous creatures and that’s just the humans. But there are places on the edges of the Earth that are simply stunning. How wonderful it is that we are alive in this time, right now, when it is so accessible and affordable to explore. Will you follow me? Those places are not waiting for you to visit, but they are there if you want it.
Picture me in Costa: I’m surfing a wave with a squirrel monkey on my shoulder. My abs look amazing. While a dolphin jumps over us, the monkey and I high five.
It’s a ridiculous image of course. That could never happen. I always surf with a rash guard to prevent board rash. So you can’t see my abs.
And on those waves, we’ll feel like we’re flying. It’s the closest we’ll ever come. The sun upon us. A salt water cleanse. It isn’t such a bad, bad world.