Request a taxicab big enough to load the bike box into. Rolls up in the clinging arrogant heat that only cities, glorious historical ones, have, can see immediately it won’t work. But we make it do with the front passenger seat down, the corners crumpled, bisecting the car diagonally and I am still sweating in the back isolated from the driver, talk over the barrier but mostly quiet. Staring at the architecture the crowds the clouds against distance, but not so much seeing anything anymore, tired of seeing? or shifting to seeing something else, it will be days yet before coherence and coalescence will make the trip vivid again, I know it will. Now the airport, dragging gear, questions from strangers of what it is, so obvious to me like with x-ray vision, takeoff, folded too excited for sleeping a refutation of exhaustion, passport control and baggage claim and announcements in English and the language sounds wrong, and then there is home waving and standing and an embrace.

Bags stay in a pile just off the middle of the room, laziness and distraction, maybe, but also they were so long all that was with me it is hard to imagine them put away, where would my things be? Fascinating selection of clothing, disgust at all the things I don’t need, surprised at the things I thought I had but don’t or just didn’t remember that they looked like that. So many spoons in the drawer, out of habit I use one pot where three will be natural again in a week. I’m suspicious of the shower and of the thermostat.

Ride to work, a different bike and I fit it all wrong right now, shimmying on its unladenness, it’s mist and cold and an opposite season, sit in a chair I haven’t for awhile, I like it. Open a book, I’ll start reading it in a second and then it’s hard to say where I will be, but not yet.

5 thoughts on “Return

  1. I hate for my delight in your travel to be only a memory! Thanks for a great time. I’m happy you’re safely home…and I’m happy for archives!
    Joe Young
    Wms ’58

  2. I grok some of these words, and those tremendously. The remainder is intriguing, wordless loveliness. Thank you still for this!

  3. . . .Welcome back–a strange phrase perhaps to confer. You might really be having feelings more aligned with disappointment and confusion. How do you re-enter this decidedly static model of existence when you’ve lived in an entirely alternate paradigm for as long as you have? Perhaps, the phrase is infused with equal parts of melancholy, elation and isolation. The sensations inspired or revealed to us/you when traveling have an almost addictive quality to them. And it is this withdrawal or loss of those very visceral and expressive feelings, sensations and thoughts that are what we really leave behind when we leave our travels. I’m projecting, but, I’m guessing it’s a bitter-sweet reality you re-enter. But, I am glad you are back safe and had such an amazing journey. I read your entries with feelings of amazement and envy. Thanks for taking me along and I hope we can travel together again one day. Cheers

  4. Welcome home and congratulations on an awesome trip – its concept, execution, and the way you went about recording it. All great stuff.

    I’m just about ready to head off, so most likely will have just a few questions for you…

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