April 25th 2010
So I write again and this time from seat 34k. I should have been home by now but fate, in the form of a rather wonderful volcanic eruption, handed me 5 extra days (and there is nothing like a good eruption in my opinion) which meant that my original flight was cancelled. Ahhhh fate, why she plays her hand no one knows, sometimes she can be a bad thing and sometimes a good thing but I have found that somewhere along the line one can look back on events, whether they be good or bad, and see the reason for fate. On this occasion fate stepped in and it appears that it may have played a good hand, or that is at least that is how it looks for now.
As the plane roared down the runway my eyes watched the lights of Philadelphia flying past and as the nose tipped up towards to the dark night sky and Philadelphia started to slip away I felt the tears well for a moment. Watching America slipping away and all that it means to me, all that it has been to me, and all the important people it contains was a painful moment, but I had been told not to cry, commanded in fact, and so I bite down on my lip, and although the tears glistened for a moment, I didn’t cry, but I looked back over my shoulder at the reseeding city lights and made myself a vow. A vow I intend to keep no matter what.
So this is the end of my journey. Well no actually it is not. I know you are confused now aren’t you? Where the hell is the daft cow off to now, I hear you wondering, well I am going home, just as you thought when you started reading this post but this is not the end of my journey this is just the beginning of the next part. I am leaving America, just for now, but I shall be back, and between then and now, I don’t really know for sure what is going to happen. I know what I think will happen (sorry, I stole someone else’s line there, but hey, I reckon they won’t mind?) and I certainly know what I want to happen but that doesn’t mean I know for sure.
I have had the most wonderful 2 and half weeks of my life. It has been perfect. I came here to find some stuff out, too know for sure, and I came to see America for myself. The country that has fascinated me for so many years, the country that I have watched and wondered and read so much about was mine to finally experience. I came to feel her for real and I have to say, she felt good and I can’t wait to come back and feel her all over again. I leave America having gained so much (including a rather alarming amount of weight) and lost nothing (apart from the bowling trip but I am refusing to talk about that). I am happy (even though I don’t want to leave)I am whole (no hole jokes please), I feel strong (and I don’t mean muscley), and more nourished and fulfilled than when I arrived and for now I leave with a sign and a belief and a hope…….”remember all the good times and smile”…….and I am doing both.
Sorry, brief pause, the food came and I was starving……*note to self, never wait to eat at an airport, the price of food is just silly! So, where was I……ahh yes, good times and smiling…… and……well the airline meal I have just been served contained a starter, of which I have no idea what it was, something with couscous maybe and lots of parsley, a lasagne, that was not billed as being veggie but I couldn’t find any meat to I am assuming it was, and a desert of mango and passion fruit mouse……and it was tasting that which made me smile, for in America I discovered Rita’s. Oh boy do I love Rita’s. You get these flavoured water ices, bit like a slushy sorbet served with gelati, a frozen custard I believe, and yummy yummy, it is just the best and if you want a hot tip, go with the mango every time. So my in flight desert made me remember Rita’s and South Street and Philly Cheese steaks, and the diner and burger king (more on that later I am sure) and Reading Terminal market, and chocolate covered pretzels and S’mores and steak, and Italian, and pizza, and margaritas and oh my let’s not forget the tequila……..again, another story for another time and hopefully when I get home I will have just a tiny bit more time to write some of them down, because they will help me to remember, and smile…….as directed.
For now dear reader the eyelids are drooping and the crap pillow and excuse for a blanket are calling. I have read back what I have written and I am not sure it is at all that coherent, but it will do for now, I am tired, and I am travelling into the future, it is a west to east thing, and so a few hours sleep will be a good idea at this point……
Well I think I did OK. I slept heavily for 4 hours and although my eyes are a tad red and sore I feel OK. That’s something else I discovered about myself in Philadelphia, I have an amazing capacity to sleep. In recent years I have often sleeping a problem, actually that is not quite correct, I find it hard to get to sleep but once I am gone, I am gone. Not in Philadelphia though, in Philly I seemed to be able to go out like a light, one minute awake and then the next…….zzzzzzzz…….Perhaps my holiday tag line should be ‘Philadelphia, the town where I slept peacefully’……among other things of course…..LOL
So less than a hour to go and I will be back in the UK, and that is not a nice thought, much of life in the UK leaves me cold and as for the debacle that is the UK itself, well let us not go there at this time. When I awoke just now and looked at the time, I knew what the people I have left behind in America were doing and for a moment a deep sense of sadness rushed through me. ‘Left them behind’ Hmmm…..I ponder that thought for a moment and it’s painful I admit, but as I said when I started writing this piece, I have to do this, I have to go back to the UK so that I can return again. I can’t come back until I go and so there you have it. This is just the start of the beginning of my journey to the next time. This is not just ‘going home’, this is all part of what I have to do to get back, and the beginning of the next trip has to start off with a stop in the UK. Seems a bit of long way round maybe? Yes, I guess so, but it can’t be helped and anyway, no one said this was going to be easy, I mean if it was easy anyone could do it, right?
ps…I know its a cheesey number but it says it all. I had the time of my life……