Juxtaposition

The memory of my entry into Australia has been weighing on my mind since I arrived and I think I should talk about it.

I flew out of Omaha on the 9th of April. I got to Dallas/Fort Worth and had about three hours before another short flight to LA. I used my layovers for recharging (body/mind/iPhone) and mainly saving up all of my exhaustion for the upcoming lengthy flight to Sydney. (I’d only gotten about three and a half hours of sleep the night before because, well, travel, and also procrastination).

In LA, we had to take a shuttle across the tarmac to the international terminal. At first, I thought it looked a lot like Heathrow (very bland, boring, sterile), and then we got into the new section. It looked a lot like King’s Cross Station in London, or like a really nice mall. It was very open and airy, very bright, but not blinding. There were boutiques and high-end shops. It was very comfortable and I already felt like I was somewhere else. 

I made friends with a woman called Joyce and also a family of four heading home to Melbourne. Joyce told me that the border folks in Sydney were very ‘civilized.’ I’m sure I sounded suspicious asking her if the BA asks a lot of questions. I’m not fleeing, I promise.

The plane was a double-decker Qantas A380. I was second row from the economy cabin door and ended up being the only one in my row of three. I was very relieved at that, and also at the state of the plane – everything was very nice and comfortable. It was a fifteen hour flight, after all. 

As soon as we took off, I put on Wolf of Wall Street – I think I missed out on all the nudity and sexuality because it was edited for the plane; had to stifle a ton of laughter – and then took my Advil PM. I used the three pillows and two of the three blankets in my row (thanks, non-existent passengers), and curled up for sleep. I had to wake up and adjust my position more than a couple times, but in the end, I got about nine hours of sleep. 

To finish off the flight, I watched Philomena, which was absolutely fantastic. At that point, I put up the window shade and was met with the breathtaking view of a bit of coast and a lot of ocean. I’m not even sure that I would have been able to say a reverent ‘oh my God’ to anyone. It was the most beautiful sight I’d ever experienced. 

The descent into Sydney at daybreak: could not recommend enough. I mean. Add that shit to your bucket list, stat. 

Not only was the landscape lush and gorgeous, but the clouds and mist met with the water to create a seamless, translucent, silvery backdrop. And as my words can’t ever do it justice:ImageImage

So the big bird made an effortless landing into Sydney and my nerves flared up. I had a folderful of documents in my bag, I had my answers prepared, I was going to be confident and calm – I had no reason to be turned away and prayed I’d just make it through because, holy hell, would I have caused a fucking scene.

I certainly wasn’t prepared for the humidity that greeted me as I stepped off the plane, but I didn’t let it throw me. I noticed a little machine where I can scan my passport and get some sort of ticket, so I did that. Then I saw that I could take that ticket and go to another machine that would scan my face and let me through. I thought that was too good to be true, but I tried it.

During the scanning process, these two biddies next to me where fussing about something and I probably looked away for a split second. Of course, my machine told me to seek assistance. Fuck. Here it comes.

I went up to the desk and said good morning, yeah, I looked away for a second and the machine told me to come over here. He said, yeah they’re super touchy. He looked at my passport and back at me and I moaned about my hideous photo. He goes, oh, you’re showing teeth. I was like, yeah, I mean, I’m going to be happy to be traveling, so why wouldn’t I smile (haha). He said, yeah, we have to keep a neutral face. I asked, you can’t even scowl? He said, no; and it’s not a bad photo anyway. I said, well, thanks. Then I think he said, have a good trip or day or something, handed me back my passport and I walked through.

Um.

Hold on. This.. something.. is different.. 

Sir, don’t you need to know how long I’ll be here or who I’m staying with or if I have my plane tickets home or how much money I make/have/plan to spend or if I’m married or if I live alone or if I’m employed or why I’m here or what I’ll do while I’m here or what my social security number is or what my five year plan is or who is my high school crush or what’s my mother’s maiden name or for a copy of my birth certificate or the first ten digits of Pi or-

Wait, he did ask me what my flight number was. 12. Okay.

I walked down toward baggage claim and actually almost cried. That was it. It wasn’t painful. It wasn’t even difficult. It wasn’t even nerve-wracking. I didn’t even sweat. I didn’t even wait in line for more than two minutes. The guy was even sexy. The guy was even nice. It even felt like he wanted me here. It even felt like he liked his job a bit. I even felt unlike a criminal. I even felt like a normal person. What the fuck.

I can’t even write anything else about the experience, because, well, there’s nothing else to write. That was it. I’m literally sitting here, looking around the room to see if I can remember anything else, but.. there’s nothing. 

I might as well have been entering America. 

It was everything I needed. 

Then I had a mini bitchfit on twitter about how it should be done, ahem, UKBA. Jesus Christ Almighty. 

Don’t even get me started on that bullshit again. Fuck.

Boy, it’s hard not to.

But, yeah, I think the entire process of disembarking the plane, crossing the border, and getting my bags took… twenty minutes? Maybe a half hour?

In summation, to the UKBA, I say:
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And to the Aussie BA, I say:
 photo tumblr_n22mvgSAQ21ral3q0o3_500_zps5e91bbda.gif

 

 

If You Know What’s Good for You

I find myself anxious about my trip tomorrow. I’m always a bit nervous about any traveling – I usually have difficulty sleeping the night before, etc. 

The last time I attempted international travel, I ended up spending nine hours in UKBA custody and then a night in the detention center.

Ergo: apprehension. 

 

Fuck. To me, the anxiety isn’t even the worst part – it’s the fact that I’m feeling anxiety at all. That adventure struck fear into my heart. And I hate that. I absolutely bloody hate that. I’ve flown somewhere every single year of my life. I’ve flown to Germany and to Mexico and to London (twice before all of that) and now… I have the opportunity to visit a country that I’ve wanted to visit as long as I can remember – even longer than wanting to visit the UK, I reckon. And here I am, about to finally do it… and I’m terrified. 

As if fucking with the UKBA after eight hours on a plane wasn’t annoying enough, I’ll be traveling for over 24 hours total this time. I don’t think my nerves would be able to handle denial. 

I mean, there’s no actual reason I should be turned away: I have never traveled there before and have therefore never had the opportunity to ‘violate any visitor’s agreement,’ I got approved for this electronic thing that gets attached to my passport and it approved me for a three month stay if I so desired, I have a bunch of documents with me (bank statements, my lease, my car title, the hotel reservation in Sydney, my itinerary, Jen’s address, etc) so that I should be prepared for anything… 

And yet…

I’ll be so. far. away. from home. if something were to happen. So far. 

I know the fear is pointless. I do. I have a feeling I’ll get over there and they’ll be like, ‘g’day, lit-le Sheila – have a good trip!’ and that’ll be it. And all this worrying and preparation will have been for naught. But after being, apparently, “ill-prepared” once, I’m sure as hell not doing that again.

Oh yeah, the worst part. It is. It’s the worst part. That I feel like this at all. That I was made to feel like this. That I should be so nervous about doing something I’ve done since the womb. Just like my car accident has made me overly cautious and paranoid about people noticing that I’ve signaled a turn or slowed down to a stop, that fucking trip has made me trepidatious about stepping foot outside of the US. 

I wish I could drive there. I’d rather drive there and have control of my transportation and surroundings and way out. That’s why I drove to Nashville. Stupid, I know, it’s within the continental US. I just- I needed control. I needed control of the situation, of my situation, and of my arrival and departure.

 

This will be good for me. This trip. In more than one way. Mostly, it will be the first step in getting over this idiotic, frustrating fear. I’ll be so proud of myself for going. Even when it would be so much easier to stay home. 

But it wouldn’t; not really. 

I’d hate myself for missing out on seeing my friends again and, for the love of God, I’m going to get a photo with Benedict fucking Cumberbatch. I’m going to see the Sydney Opera House. I’m going to box kangaroos. 

I have to refer back to Jen’s infinite wisdom – saying this trip will cheer me up in more ways than I know. Even when I didn’t know I needed cheering up. I need something. And this trip is that something.

No Time Passes In Seven Years

Jesus, it’s been seven years since freshman year of college? That’s disgusting.
I went to the University of Evansville my freshman year – I couldn’t even tell you why. Honestly, though, it might be because campus looked old and had character. Little did I know.
Move-in day was 10000000° and my dorm had no air con. I lived on the third floor with no elevators. Feel sorry for me yet?
I had no roommate because my roommate decided to bail – I think she knew something I didn’t. I was looking forward to living alone, though; I didn’t know anyone anyway.
In the little first-day-frenzy, this gal came to my door and said something in a southern accent. I was drenched in sweat and close to tears – super frustrated with the lack of air con, having to carry a ton of shit up the stairs, and probably a bit of fright over being far from home. Instantly, I’m like, fuck, she’s hyper and sociable and is going to wear me out even further.
We ended up sticking close to each other as she didn’t know anyone either. Our dads got to chatting, as they do, and we ended up signing up for all the same classes since we didn’t know what the hell we were doing.
Her roommate was a bimbo and ended up dropping out at semester. I think by then, Steph had essentially started moving into my room. We both hated UE and the people there (especially the snobby, obnoxious theatre kids who ran the dorm). By the end of the year, we were packing up for good and we’d applied for transfers to our respective home universities.
In 2010, Steph came up to Nebraska to visit and just last weekend, after far too long, I drove down to Nashville for the Color Run.
Oh, the drive. Would have made it in eleven hours, but got held up in stop and go traffic for long periods of time. Thank God for Bolero. Seriously, next time you’re stuck in traffic, put that shit on. Makes it a bit more bearable. I got there late Friday night and the run was the next morning.
After about five hours of sleep, I was up and putting on my tutu for the run. It was cold and rainy, but was supposed to let up. It didn’t. As soon as we got there, we bought hoodies. Even with the inclement weather, there were about 20,000 people there. We all got soaked before the run – well, except those who wore ponchos, which I truly didn’t understand.
It was my first color run and it did not disappoint. I loved the color powder, even though it tasted like chalk, and it was nice to walk/jog through downtown Nashville. And over the Cumberland River.
Afterward, we went to Panera in all our colored glory. As soon as I walked in, this little girl gave me a double-take and then tried to surreptitiously get her mom’s attention, all the while maintaining eye contact with me. I smiled at her and I don’t think she knew what to do. I mean, was there something wrong with my face? >

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The rest of the days are kind of a blur – we didn’t have much of an agenda, so we just hung out and took it easy. She’s been busy getting her second degree and I’ve been busy doing nothing, so it was nice to do more nothing. We saw her folks – biological and adopted – and I saw where she works now. It was good.
On Monday, we drove to Evansville. I never thought I’d see that campus again. Why would I? But, since It was only a three hour drive…
It was weird. It looked mostly the same (new student union), but it felt completely different. The students seemed nicer, the atmosphere was bright and light; I mean, if we’d have gone to school there now, I think we would have been fine. That being said, I’m glad I’m past all of that.
The most amazing thing about seeing Steph again was just how it seemed like not a day had gone by. I might as well have always been there. We’re not the best at texting or writing, but it was crazy how natural it all was. I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked, it’s the same way with my best friends from elementary school. One lives here, one lives there, we can go weeks without texting, and then when we get together, it’s like we’d just seen each other the day before. I think it’s a testament to true friendship, being able to do that. There’s something to be said about the longevity and depth of it all.
Of course, there have been friends that have fallen away as I have fallen away to others, but I think that’s also becoming an adult. These busy lives we all lead – things take priority and precedence and it ends up taking effort to retain and maintain friendships. So.. to be able to have those friends you know you’ll be able to rely on and turn to, no matter how long it’s been, it’s a real blessing.

This post started out with a point, so I hope I’ve made it. I’ve been trying to get myself to sit down and write for a week and the urge took me while I’m sitting in my car, waiting for my friend.
Speaking of – my friend, Shaun, who is in the navy, got orders to England and he leaves today! I’m simultaneously insanely excited and insanely jealous that he’ll be over with the love of my life. In this case, one must learn to share.
And his ears must have been burning, because he just texted me.
Until later.
(Maybe, if I can get myself to do anything).
(Jesus, I haven’t even talked about Oz much. That shit is coming up on the 9th!)
panicking>

7 Feb – 16 Feb

I’m seriously resisting February. It was such a shitty, annoying month. These prompts are no different.

February 7th – Right to health:
Is access to medical care something that governments should provide, or is it better left to the private sector? Are there drawbacks to your choice?
I am honestly ignorant in this topic, like most, and as a result, I can’t really answer. People should have medical care when they need it. I think that sums it up. Are there drawbacks to people getting the healthcare they need? Mmm. Now I’m being purposefully mocking. Of course there are drawbacks, as there are to anything. I’m moving on because it’s 530am and I can’t focus on this.

February 8th – Karma chameleon:
Reincarnation: Do you believe in it?
No.

February 9th – Childhood revisited:
Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?
I’m so distracted by the awkward grammar, I … Okay. Yes, I did turn out pretty well. I hate to sound like a spoiled brat, because I’m not – there are plenty of shitty things that I’d not enjoy going through again – however, every single thing that happened in my childhood has helped shape me into the person I am today. The good things, the bad things, the frustrating things, the lovely things. Everything came together like puzzle pieces and although the picture isn’t finished, all the straight edges and corners are in place. 
Oh I see now, the second part of the question wants to know if I have kids now. Well, I don’t, but I could say there are things I will try my hardest to do differently for them because of things I went through or didn’t go through. There are things I want my kids to experience that I wasn’t able to experience and there are things I’ll try to keep them from going through. One thing I always give my parents shit for is letting up on Conor’s phone curfew when they let up on mine, although he’s four years younger. Ya know, stuff like that ;)

February 10th – Teachable moment:
You have to learn a new skill. Do you prefer to read about it, watch someone else do it, hear someone describe it, or try it yourself?
Any time I’ve had to learn something new for work, and probably in general and I’ve just never noticed, I’ve always wanted to have a mix of learning techniques going on. For example, when I started my receptionist job a hundred years ago, I sat with my trainer as she told me about everything she has to do in the course of a shift, she’d point out the different buttons and what they did, in what order she had to push the buttons to page someone or transfer a call, etc; I’d write everything down so that I wouldn’t have to ask again; then I’d sit and watch her do everything for a few hours. After all of that, I’d feel comfortable jumping in. I did the same thing when I started as an escrow officer. At least as a receptionist, I’d seen a telephone before. But ask me where to put the HOA on the HUD and how much to charge for the DOT and I’ll be able to answer you correctly.
If it’s like, putting together a desk or table and chairs from Nebraska Furniture Mart, just give me the directions and walk away.

February 11th – Whoa!:
What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?
Oh, yes. Finally, I have an answer on the tip of my tongue for one of these. Sigh. Most surreal experience – may or may not be the most surreal experience I’ve ever had, but it’s sure as hell dreamlike – was meeting Martin Freeman. Well, not so much ‘meeting,’ since it’s not like we shook hands and introduced ourselves, but meeting nonetheless. 
In London, on North Gower, watching Sherlock being filmed. Already surreal, seeing a couple of my heroes in person and watching them create bits of a television show that has taken over my life. They took a break in filming and were setting up a different camera angle, so they had to have some of us fans shift around. My friends went off to the left and I went off to the right. I went across the side street to a smaller fan area and I think at that moment, I saw Mr Cumberbatch going over to the other side of the street. ‘Fuck,’ I thought. There was no way I was getting back over there. I looked up then and saw Mr Freeman coming over to my side of the street. I was behind a multitude of people, probably about four or five back from the barrier so I thought, again, ‘fuck,’ I’ll never get through. (And I’m not the pushing through the crowd type unless I’m at a concert). As I was giving up, I noticed him going further down my side of the street. The people were thinning out toward that end. Fuck it. It’s now or never. I hope to God I didn’t trot, but I made it quickly to where he was and he was talking to some woman in front of me. She was telling him what a huge fan her daughter was and how hard it can be to be a parent sometimes, or something like that, and Martin listened so intently and held her hand the whole way through her story. As soon as it was wrapping up, I stepped forward with my phone ready on camera-mode and shakily asked, “Martin, could I have a photo please?” (In retrospect, I wish I wouldn’t have been such a clot and called him Mr Freeman instead, ffs). But anyway, he just looked up and smiled and said, “sure, sure!” I kind of scooted next to the barrier that separated us, and held my phone out so that I could line up the shot. I’m fucking shocked that it wasn’t a blurry mess because when I said ‘shakily,’ I meant like, beginning stages of Parkinson’s. So yeah. I said thank you, or at least I hope I did, I don’t know, I was stunned, and he went back to filming. 
Even now, I can’t believe it. I think I texted about ten people and told them what happened. At that point, I’d already met Benedict and I think I’d met Andrew Scott? Either way, Conor was like, “how the fuck does this keep happening?” Oh, um, yeah, those were two other surreal experiences. 

February 12th – All about you:
Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.
Aw yiss. So my blog’s title is ‘Consumed with that which it is nourish’d by’ and it’s from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73. Easy, really: I’m consumed with writing/journaling and I’m nourished by it. I always say that it keeps me sane and I’m not exaggerating in the least. Even earlier tonight, I felt like writing, so I picked up my journal and wrote about four pages of bosh. But it doesn’t matter that it was bosh, because I instantly had clear vision. Sometimes shit gets a bit cloudy, like all of a sudden life is shot through a diffuser. It’s not always a romantic look that the diffuser provides. Usually I’m fairly good at recognizing when that film slips in place and I can wipe it all away with the stroke of a pen. Hot damn.
Got off track. Maybe not really. But yes, that’s what journaling means to me, that’s what my blog title means to me. 

February 13th – Shoulda, woulda, coulda:
Tell us about something you know you should do… but don’t.
You mean besides working out?

February 14th – Cupid’s arrow:
It’s Valentine’s Day, so write an ode to someone or something you love. Bonus points for poetry!
Oh Christ.
I think if the answer doesn’t automatically come to me…

February 15th – Proud:
When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?
Probably super recently. My parents are always proud of me for some reason or another lol That’s not to say that it has lost its meaning – I am very blessed to have parents that take pride in me and I’m equally as proud to call them my parents. 

February 16th – The clock:
Write about anything you’d like. Somewhere in your post, include the sentence, “I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock.”
This is just screaming for fanfiction. Or maybe I’m screaming for fanfiction. I scream, you scream.
-> She was in her hometown tonight. She’d gone downtown for a drink at her favorite bar. She went alone because she didn’t mind being alone, really. In fact, she usually preferred it.
Unfortunately, tonight there were a few men who kept coming over to talk to her. Theirs was attention she didn’t want. “Look, guys, I’m flattered, but no thanks,” she said, trying to get them away from her as politely as possible.
One of the men didn’t very much like being denied and as he leant in to put his arm around her, her stool tipped to the side. She found herself shoulder to shoulder with the man next to her. She hadn’t paid any attention to anyone all night because she just wanted a goddamn drink in peace.
The man startled and looked down at her. Instantly, they recognized each other. In his lovely English accent, he said, “hello, darling.”
“Thomas, hi,” she answered, strained at the effort of holding herself up against him.
“What, you know this fucking guy?” One of the drunk men asked.
“In fact, she does, gentlemen; so why don’t you bugger off and leave us, eh?” Thomas said to the man.
She cringed. These didn’t look like the type of men to simply ‘bugger off’ when asked. In fact, they weren’t at all.
“What the fuck did you say?”
And that’s when the fight broke out. One of the drunk men raised his fist and wound up to hit Tom. Tom dodged the first one easily enough, but hadn’t seen the second drunk man’s fist coming from the right. His fist collided with Tom’s left cheekbone and he was thrown against the bar. She picked up her beer bottle and performed the biggest cliché she could think of: she broke it against the bartop.
She pointed it at the drunk man who’d swung first and then waved it at the man who’d actually made contact with James.
“When a lady says no, she fucking means no; so unless you guys want to spend the night in the ICU, why don’t you fuck off already?” she shouted.
The man closest to her started to laugh, so she stopped forward and brought the jagged bottle closer to his face. “By the way, I know the nurse on-call, so I can make sure you get the best care.”
The man put his hands up in surrender, seeing how serious she was. “Alright, alright, fuck.” They stumbled away.
She put the bottle on the bar and put up her hand to the bartender who was about to tell her to hit the road. “I know, I know.”
She looked at Thomas, who had been staring at her with his wide eyes, made even wider by her actions. “Blimey! Remind me not to fuck with you.”
“Goddamn right.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the exit. At the end of the bar, she spied a glass of ice, so she checked for the bartender and then took the glass.
Outside the bar, she held the glass of ice to Thomas’s cheekbone. “Here,” she said, “hold this.”
He exclaimed as the glass touched his face. “Jesus!”
“We should probably get moving in case those assholes decide to leave, or more likely, get themselves thrown out,” she offered.
“Right.” He answered as they started down the sidewalk.
“My car’s in the parking garage just a block over,” she said, digging in her purse for her keys. He answered again, “right.”
Once they found her car, he set the glass of melted ice on the barrier. “No,” she said, “take that. I’ll wash it.” He gave her a look as she got in the driver’s seat. “What? It’s a free glass,” she said with a wink.
Fortunately, it was still early in the evening, so maneuvering out of the parking garage was a breeze. Once she’d gotten them out and away from downtown, she asked him what hotel he was staying at.
“Um, the Marriott,” he answered quietly.
Not responding to his answer, she asked another question. “What are you doing here, anyway?” She cringed at her approach and immediately felt bad. He had taken a punch for her after all.
“I, um, well, I was here for an assignment. A project.” So he hadn’t scaled down after all. She wondered if that meant- “So yeah, as I’m sure you’re thinking, I’m divorced.” He looked down at the lighter line of skin on his left ring finger.
She let out a breath. Yikes. “I’m so sorry, Thomas. I didn’t- She didn’t-“
“No,” he said, “after you left me that night, I stood there staring out at nothing for ages. I felt like as soon as I moved from that spot, I’d have to make a decision. And I didn’t want to. I wanted to go after you, to be honest.”
She sucked in a breath at that. She remembered thinking she wished he would have. She kept preparing herself to be grabbed by the arm and spun around by him. It never happened and she never looked back.
“But I knew I couldn’t do that. I could have made things so much worse for myself by doing that, um, no offense- I mean, I hope you understand what I-“
“Of course,” she cut him off. “No, the last thing you should have done was come after me,” she admitted. Sealing her lips, she focused on the drive.
“I finally decided to just call her right there, so I didn’t have to move.” He made a sad sounding chuckle. “I tried to tell her that I could cut back on what I was doing and still be there for her and the boys, but she was so tired of it all by then… She had already made up her mind.” He sighed and rubbed at his eyes, flinching a bit, forgetting about his sore cheek.
She didn’t know what to say. It was just as well, as she pulled up to the entrance of the hotel.
“Well,” she started. As she was taking a breath to start again, he interrupted her.
“Stay with me.” It wasn’t a question. Not really a command.
Without a word, she put her car back in drive and pulled away toward the hotel’s parking lot.
She knew it would be only once. Just as it would have been before. This would never work as anything. But it would kill her to leave in the morning all the same.
She found a spot relatively close to the front door and grabbed her purse out of the back seat.
He met her behind her car and took her hand. She appreciated the gesture and smiled at him. She hoped he wouldn’t be able to read in her face what was really going on in her mind.
They made their way through the lobby to the bank of elevators. She was hoping his room was on a high floor so that she could look out over her city. It might help ground her.
He was. He motioned for her to exit the elevator first and then followed, grabbing her hand again in pursuit of his room. She was sick to her stomach when they reached his door. She almost hoped his key wouldn’t work so she could run.
It worked. She couldn’t deny that she wanted this, and he was divorced now, but it still felt entirely stupid. She’d do it anyway.
His room was fairly large. A nice room. A king-sized bed. The bed where, she couldn’t help but anticipate, a huge mistake was about to be made.
“I think I’ll, um,” she began, “I’m going to use the restroom.” With that, she stepped in and locked the door behind her.
Fuck. She thought. What the fuck am I doing? I always think I know what I’m doing and then I end up in these goddamn situations. She let out a breath. Her eyes caught her reflection in the mirror. She looked good, but she looked how she felt: conflicted. She listened for clues in the room. She didn’t hear anything. Surprised she didn’t hear a belt buckle or a boot dropping to the floor.
I mean, I don’t have to do this, she thought. It’s not like I’m obligated, and I’m sure he’s not the kind to force me into something. She squeezed her eyes shut and took another deep breath.
I’ll just tell him I can’t. I’m so glad I drove us here and not to my apartment.
She took one last deep breath and gripped the door handle. I can do this. I can tell him I can’t do this.
She opened the door slowly and listened again. She couldn’t hear anything. She practically tiptoed out of the restroom and around the corner. Then she saw him.
Passed out on top of the comforter, Thomas was fully clothed.
She had to stifle a laugh now. All of that for nothing. He must have been a bit more intoxicated than she noticed. Either that or he hid it well.
She went over to him and sat down beside him. She brushed his bangs off of his forehead. He stirred a little.
“Hey,” she whispered. He moaned a sleepy response.
She made to take off his boots. He tried to help by pushing his toes against the other foot’s heel, but his toes kept slipping off of the leathery boot.
“Stop it,” she giggled, “just let me fuckin’ do it.” He moaned another sleepy response.
Once she’d gotten his boots off, she put them at the end of the bed and decided against wrestling the comforter from underneath him. Luckily, there was a spare blanket in the closet. She covered him up to his chin and tucked the end of the blanket under his feet.
She stood and looked at him for a minute or two, secretly thankful for the decision she didn’t have to make. Again, he’d taken a blow for her. She bent over and brushed her lips against his forehead. He was completely out now.
Noticing the standard notepad and pen on the nightstand, she picked both up and went to the little desk by the television.
What do I even say? “Thomas,” she started. She froze for a moment before putting the pen down and quietly ripping the sheet from the pad. She tore it up and put it in the bin. She sighed.
She turned around to look at him. He had grabbed the blanket and pulled it tightly against him. He looked like such a child.
She stared at the notepad. She should thank him for defending her against that asshole at the bar. She should tell him again how sorry she is for his marriage falling apart. She should apologize for not being there in the morning.
“Talk soon,” she wrote.
She signed her name and put the pen down. She got up and went to the window overlooking downtown. She heard a car door slam and immediately looked at the clock. Jesus, she’d been standing there for twenty minutes. It was time to go.
“Goodnight,” she whispered. 

When I Think of Home

I had a dream the other night that I was traveling to London. 

For whatever reason, I had upwards of six hours between flights and was apparently close enough to home that I could go there on my layover.

As in all dreams where I’m ‘home,’ I’m home. On North Post Road. Where I grew up. Where I spent twenty-two years of my life. 

My room was in a bit of disarray, so I decided to rearrange it. I had two loveseats to put in there now, God knows why. I moved my bed over by my windowseat so the couches could fit on the adjacent wall. That must have worn me out, because I laid down to take a nap.

Yep. In my dream, a dream I had while I was sleeping, I laid down to take a nap. And I slept. 

This is how interesting my dream-life is, folks – I fucking sleep. In my dreams. 

Upon awaking from my nap, I look at my watch and it’s 915pm. My flight left at 908pm. Fuck. I’d missed my flight to London. I rushed out into mom’s office and had her get on the computer to look up other flights. She was very lackadaisical about it and really pissed me off. 

What she found were flights with about three or four stops, which would take days to get me to London. (I guess air travel in my dreams is only just worse than it actually is).

I went into the kitchen where dad and Conor were and mom followed me. She and dad stood arm-in-arm as we said goodbye to Conor; he was going on some trip, I guess.

This is what jarred me maybe the most: mom and dad are still married in my dreams, or so it seems.

I woke with a start (in real life, not from my dream-nap). I was stressed out over the missed dream-flight to London and confused because my parents were still married in dream-life. I wondered why, having lived on my own for three years now, why ‘home’ is always home in my dreams.

And it’s always home. 

It’s not like I wake up and think I should be there, confused by my surroundings and all that. It’s more a sense of sadness and loss. It’d be like dreaming of Grammy Fran or my dog, Frisbee, which I did recently. Must have been the Redbeard feels. 

To me, the reason behind it is fairly clear. (Heavy psychoanalysis aside). Home will always be my home. It’s the most engrained in my mind as home and I haven’t felt that sense of ‘being home’ since I moved out. Sure, I’m comfortable in my apartment and I even felt scarily comfortable in London, but… I guess I’m just clinging to the last time I felt whole. And that would be when I was at home and we were all together. 

I can’t remember if I wrote about this in here, or if it was in my physical journal (probably there, because that’s where I keep my more weepy entries), but I was going through old photos and came across all the ones I took of home. I realized how much I miss being there.

How familiar it was. I could walk it in the dark, know exactly where I am or what piece of furniture I was approaching. I thought about being downstairs and wanting the light off – walking over to the doorway and swinging my arm around the corner to hit the switch. Doing the same thing going out the door to the garage – my right arm naturally crossing my body and hitting the garage door opener. There are still so many things.. It’s almost like I can feel my muscles twitching at the chance to perform the memorized motions. 

Then there’s all the times we sat at the table together. I’ll never have another breakfast at that table in that house. Being the last one to make it to the table and sit in my chair on the east side, Conor to my right, mom to my left, and dad across from me. A bowl on the lazy susan, scrambled eggs in it. Toast in the oven on a plate to keep it warm. A plate of bacon to one corner. Frisbee nudging mom’s elbow to get a scrap or to clean the plate. Conor getting up for more milk and dad asking for just ‘half a glass’ more. 

All of it. I can still see all of it. and I ache for it. 

I guess I won’t know that again until I have my own house and family, will I? 

I wonder when I’ll dream of ‘home’ and it will no longer be the home in which I grew up. 

I wonder how I’ll feel when that day comes. 

Twenty-two years is a long time to overwrite. Will it take another twenty-two? 

Part of me hopes so. Part of me never wants to stop dreaming of ‘home’ as home.  

1 Feb – 6 Feb

Ugh. I’ve been putting off these daily blogs because the beginning of February prompts are obnoxious. I’m going to power through them now, rather than ignore them altogether, even though that would be best.

February 1st – Flangiprop!
Invent a definition for the word ‘flangiprop,’ then use the word in a post.
Sigh. Flangiprop sounds like a noun, but I’m going to make it a verb. It means to balance your hand on the fingertips of your first and middle finger and holding the other two fingers back with your thumb (ie: an upsidedown peace sign) and then do some sort of movement as if your fingers were someone’s legs. 
“Did you see Joann flangipropping the can-can throughout the entire meeting?”
“She’s such a bitch.”

February 2nd – Think global, act local:
‘Think global, act local.’ Write a post connecting a global issue to a personal one.
How about grammar and literacy? ‘Think globally, act locally’ maybe? And uh, no.

 February 3rd – Writing room:
A genie has granted your wish to build your perfect space for reading and writing. What’s it like?
In trying to come up with something spectacular, I realized all I’d want for reading is somewhere comfortable and well-lit. With a sturdy surface on which to put my tea or coffee or wine. Yeah, my wine. In fact, I should probably have a wine fridge, a tea kettle, and a Starbucks on site. I probably need the same time of set-up for writing. Definitely wine in that case. I’m super original.

February 4th – Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes:
You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?
Depends on the major change – am I chopping off all my hair? All at once. Am I trying to lose thirty pounds? Incrementally. Moving to a new place? All at once. 

February 5th – Call me, maybe:
Describe your relationship with your phone. Is it your life-line, a buzzing nuisance, or something in between?
As long as I’ve had a phone, so, for twelve years, it’s always been about staying connected. When I was younger, it was about being able to stay in touch with my parents when I was driving somewhere by myself; which quickly evolved into being able to text my friends all day and all of the night; today, it’s still about both of those things. But it’s also about being able to IMDb that goddamn actress whose name you can’t remember for the life of you; it’s about being able to sigh longingly whenever Richard Hammond tweets; it’s about being able to reblog the four-thousandth photo of Benedict Cumberbatch because there sure as hell ain’t enough of that on your Tumblr feed. So yeah, it’s a life-line. It is a line to life. It allows you to travel eightysevenhundred miles in one second.

February 6th – Choose your adventure:
Write a story or post with an open ending, and let your readers invent the conclusion.
You mean every post I’ve ever made? Also, I implore my readers to actually participate. I mean, I’d die for some responses. Please, do this, for me.
->“My God, I could do with another. How about you?” She stood with her empty glass.
“Um, sure!” He finished the rest of his and handed her his glass. “H-here, let me,” he started, as he fumbled for his wallet.
“Ah, ah, ah,” she scolded, “on me, remember?” He opened his mouth, prepared with another protest. She cut him off, “nope! Now, do you want another dark?”
She didn’t wait long for his answer, so he had to yell a “yes” as she was halfway to the bar already.
After a few more, the pub was closing. He was so much more relaxed (and fluid in speaking) with a few pints in him. She’d have to remember that.
He surprised her by putting his arm around her shoulders as they made their way to the steps leading to the street. She snaked her arm around his waist. This seemed to jar him into consciousness because he quickly removed his arm. “I- oh God, I’m so-“ His jerky movements caused his brain to miscommunicate with his feet and he ended up on his ass.
She should have bent to help him, but she was too busy being doubled over with laughter. Soon, she was on the ground beside him, trying to regain composure. He joined in and then pushed himself onto shaky legs. Once steady, he reached out a hand to help her up.
She took his hand and stood with his help. They each took a moment to let their laughter dissipate and had to look everywhere but at each other to keep from falling into fits again. Once they’d resumed normal breathing patterns, she took a step toward him and put her arm back around his waist. He froze for a second, and then raised his arm to put it back around her shoulders.
They made it up the stairs without incident, and hailed a cab.
The cabbie asked, “where to?” as they’d climbed into the back.
They looked at each other, they hadn’t decided what they’d do from this point on.

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