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A Piece of My Mind
July 23/30, 2019

Comic Relief

Author Affiliations
  • 1Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA. 2019;322(4):307-308. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.9733

I’m a comfort seeker. I love to nestle in the crooks of L-couches, snuggle up with weighted blankets, and sip from bowls of broth. I love hot baths, roaring fires, foot rubs, and burning candles. I’ve never felt the need to climb a mountain, sleep in the woods, or otherwise subject myself to the elements—never had a hankering to jump, hollering, into a body of freezing water or run into the rain, clothes clinging to my body as I moaned about how I felt so alive.

Which is why it was so unusual when, one night last spring, I found myself standing on the sidewalk in New York City with an industrial-sized garbage bag pulled over my head, a confident rain pattering loudly on the plastic. At my insistence, my husband Boaz and I were standing in what looked like a squatter settlement outside 30 Rockefeller Plaza, in the longest standby line Saturday Night Live (SNL) had seen in years, thanks to a behemoth musical guest, whose fans had made pilgrimage to the site a few days prior. Our phones were dead. Our shoes were soaked. The nearest public restroom was a few blocks away, at a 24-hour McDonald’s. Yet I was brimming with a hope I could not place.

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