May 04, 2007
It didn't take long to move Boy in Black home from college. His stuff fit easily into the back of my car: one laundry basket of clothes, one crate of books, one box of stuff from his desk, and one plastic bag filled with bedding. He certainly embraces the simple lifestyle. He was unpacked in less than ten minutes, and by the time the younger boys had come home from school, he was announcing to everyone, "I live here again."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ocean, my daughter was packing her clothes tight so that she would have room in the suitcase to bring home presents. "I bought stuff for the three boys, of course," she said on the phone. "But what about the extras? Once you buy for one extra, then suddenly, you have to buy for all of them, and that can get ridiculous."
Today, she begins her journey home.
She'll leave the flat where she has been living since January, taking one last look at the sunny room with the blue carpet and broken couch where she wrote papers and drank tea. She'll walk across the courtyard, nodding at the Arab women in their dark veils and the little kids with their friendly eyes. She'll drag her luggage up the busy street, with little grocery stores that have crates of fruit and buckets of flowers set out on the pavement. Perhaps she'll stop to buy one last sleeve of digestive biscuits.
She'll cut down a side street of tall red buildings, and for the last time, swipe her Oyster card through the turnstile at the Underground. I think Film Guy has offered to help to go with her on this first part of her trip, to help manage her luggage on the long escalator that will bring her deep underground. The first train ride is a short one: she'll get off at the Station Named After the Famous Bear to switch to another train, one that will bring her to the airport.
She'll have a long flight over the ocean, and then of course, once she arrives in Big City Like No Other, she'll have to go through customs, picking her luggage up in the big room with the dogs that sniff everything. She'll have another long wait before boarding one more airplane. And this is the flight that will bring her, fifteen hours after she left her flat, home to Snowstorm City. We'll be waiting for her in the airport – my husband, her three brothers, and a gang of extras – eager to hug her, to talk to her, to hear all her stories. I hope she gets some sleep on the plane because I suspect her brothers plan to keep her up all night.
Posted by jo(e)