The last time I left there was a great dinner and a party. This time it’s a lot more muted. It’s not that I’m leaving just yet but the timings say that I should see some people in this day in London.
Packing has consumed my time prior to this moment. My luggage is my Tardis holding all of my possessions as I attempt to bend space to my will by careful organization. Slowly the pieces came together once I had an epiphany concerning the way I had organized my travels. Things fit much better after that.
I took my time thinking about all of these pieces and how they fit together. It is not unlike pieces of your life and how they fit together. There is a song that I heard a long time ago about a bag lady with too much stuff running after a bus. The stuff was too much for one person to carry as the stuff held her back. That stuff turned off suitors and she was alone with just her stuff. Her bags of stuff. As with any gendered story it can just as easily be turned on its head and pointed at the listener regardless of their gender. Bag man just doesn’t have the same ring to it however.
Metaphorical allegories are spun all around us enveloping us in the narrative. That narrative helps carry us forward as we face uncertainly and advancing years. That narrative is sometimes just a few sentences long becoming complex and difficult to follow with further exploration. A simple distillation is more valuable as a guide. Certain principles are part of this narrative and they involve those friends that are still around, still standing or sitting beside you.
It was nice of my old boss to offer to drive me to the station. I don’t know if he actually expected me to take him up on the offer. It’s hard to say if one should be polite and turn down the offer. Still it was nice not to worry about calling one of the local cab services. This way was a bit more relaxed and it gave us a chance to have one last chat before I head off yonder into the world in pursuit of my dreams.
It took two trips to carry all of my stuff down. I waited there early before our scheduled time. The last moments making sure I got everything and that it all looks somewhat tidy and that nothing was forgotten. The one suitcase is kinda heavy with all my things. That cutting project and the books added a lot of weight and volume to my collection of things.
At the station there was enough time to ponder my last moments here in ‘ull as I sipped on a coffee in the increasingly cold weather. It looked like it was going to be a full train and I made sure to be on the platform and aggressively in pursuit of a seat before they filled up. The bulk of my things gave people pause. It was a me first kind of day. Some woman with children in tow was rebuffed by two middle aged healthy men when she asked to sit at the table close to the exit. I was sitting behind them and I thought I’d move back so they can give up their seats, disabled seats and courtesy seats at that. So much for civility and courtesy. She gave them an evil look as she walked back to a seat further back with her kids in tow.
The train ride wasn’t anything special and neither was the ride to Tulse Hill from St Pancras. Some kind commuter carried down one of my suitcases down the narrow stairs so that I could navigate to the exit. I had a few moments before getting picked up so I had a coffee and watched people. It felt different being in the city after being so isolated in my residence previous to this. All these people walking around, all this traffic, it felt great!
Joe came and we loaded all the stuff into his car. We had a short drive to his residence. In that time we caught up on the latest in our respective lives. Joe had his Christmas work do the night before and this night had another function to attend. It was one of Gulnara’s work friends’ birthday. I had other plans as Rita and Jaco were on their way for their own extended holidays. It’s my only time that I would be able to see them before I leave so it was imperative that I do.
We sat around after we moved my belongings into his flat chatting about nothing and everything. My plans become clearer every time I lay them out to one of my friends. The time line that I must follow in order to get there keeps getting tighter and closer. All this activity keeps me distracted from thinking about anticipation. That anticipation is certainly there but it doesn’t have the kind of anxiety that I’ve felt before. I feel a strange sense of peace towards our inevitable reunion in a few weeks time. How exciting is this anyways? Once again I am going out towards a new adventure, a new journey that is something that I’ve always looked for and up until now had failed to find. I may be a bit subdued in my approach but that is because I am still in the process of getting there. It is part of my personality to be this way…
As I got to Rita’s it was dark already. I was greeted like a friend that hasn’t been seen in a while. An excited voice urging me to come in and make myself at home. The baby was sitting there and I was told to watch it while Rita finished up her meal preparation. The baby needed a bit of attention. It looked at me with those big eyes and made some noises and expressions with her face happy to see someone new. She has grown since I saw her last. Rita was in a good mood as she waited for Jaco to come back from his errands.
We had a good time chatting together and it got even more animated when Jaco did finally come back. I showed them one of my projects and they had a positive reaction to it. It was nice to hear positive feedback. We talked about their future plans and how they see things shaping up in the future. As we ate our last meal together after the baby went to sleep it was soon time for us to say our goodbyes. We wont see each other for a while but I have a feeling that we will again. There is so much life left to live for all of us.
After getting dropped off at the local station as we drove with foggy windows and had to peer at the where we were going through that small strip just above the heater vent I figured out how I will find Joe and Gulnara. I had to get to Brixton which according to the oracle involved a train and a bus. It shouldn’t be too long before I get there. It was getting a bit late however for me and once I got to the restaurant and had my pint I started to feel the tiredness set in. Tomorrow’s flight was an early one and Joe and I separated from the party and made our way to his place. I had to get up in five hours to catch the plane.
In the morning I felt like a zombie and all my actions felt automatic as I got the cab to the airport. It was a much better option than the alternative which was to get the train. The schedule for that train wasn’t conducive for sleep. Once I finally got on the plane I tried to sleep but to no avail. Passing micro sleeps were not enough to make up for my deficiencies.