Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Return



Everything went smooth as silk coming home yesterday.  I got selected for pre-check again, so arriving two hours early was silly.  With so much time, what was I to do?  Q said to drink, but I wasn't ready for that.  No, a big juicy cheeseburger was just the thing, a $20 LAX cheeseburger.

It was good, too.  It was nearly worth the money.

When I got back, there was no one to greet me at the airport.  I'd forgotten that.  The taxi ride back to my house was a little lonely, but my Vietnamese driver was entertaining.  He was 65, never married, a lifetime bachelor.  He explained it all to me, that and his family's history.  Him and me, going it alone.

When we into my driveway, I realized I didn't even have a cat to greet me for the first time in over sixteen years.  You get the life you choose, I guess.  The point was driven home.

One of the things I'd forgotten about, having not gone anywhere for so long, is just how hard it is to come back home.  Everything is as you left it--or worse.  All the things you were going to do to change your life meets reality.  So you spend an hour readjusting, putting dirty clothes from the trip into the wash, putting away the other things as best you can but really leaving much sitting out to be dealt with later.  You are lost in a familiar place.  It is good to be home.  It is terrible.

Which is the more difficult, I can't remember--going west or returning east?  I've always thought it was harder returning east, but I didn't sleep well at all last night.  I am feeling the hours this morning. A three hour jet lag is hardly jet lag, but it is something, maybe jet blur.

Getting back into the groove is more like falling into a rut.  I got up and hit the coffee maker button.  The familiar grrr and whine.  I poured a cup and opened the milk I had gotten from Whole Foods last night.  I poured it into the coffee, and it chunked up yellow.  I smelled the milk and it didn't smell bad, so I tasted it.  Why in the fuck someone would do that after looking at the big, yellow chunks is a mystery, but one did.  O.K.  California chill.  No big deal.  I got into the car and went to the little market up the street.  I only go in emergencies.  The terrorist who owns the dirty little crack supply shop doesn't keep the refrigeration cold enough, so everything is suspect.  But I needed milk.

When I got it home, I poured a fresh cup of coffee, opened the new milk, and poured it into the cup.  It chunked up in pieces.  I smelled the milk and it didn't smell bad, so I tasted it.  That's right.  Same result.  No shit.

Now my belly is churning.

I went for a third half gallon of milk, this time to a 7-11.  Ahh, yes, the third time was a charm.

No matter what I do, though, I can't seem to get the taste of spoiled milk out of my mouth and brain.

It is a work day.  I am late, but that is to be expected.  I'm always late and now I have an excuse.  But when I leave the house today, no one will come to make the bed and wash out the bathtub and to clean the sink and vacuum and straighten up.  That will all remain for me to do.  And everything else.

Where do all the epiphanies go?  They go to the factory where they are shown to be what they are, fantasies of those who need do nothing but walk and look and see.  It is easy to forget what life is really like.  It only takes a few days.

So now to shower.  I will go to work with a mouth and belly tainted by bad milk.  Today, rather than walking and looking and seeing, I will be sitting and talking and doing.  There I was, for a moment, a flaneur, if you will.  And now. . . .

There is still a chance that I might change some things, a slim but possible chance.  Just let go, I say, don't hold on so tight.  Drift a bit.  Float.  You'll be good.

We'll see what a day at the factory does to that.  Yup.  We will see.

No comments: