One final afternoon in my final city and I can say I’m ready to be home. Not ready to leave, but ready to see those faces again. They are what I have missed most. Not the familiarity of the streets and places, I have found that in the unexpected/most expected of places. Not even the hugs that I am sure will await me. I too have found those, in the most expected of places. For now I know where I am welcome, and to there is where I go.
This trip made simply for one reason, I did not know when I would be able to come back. When I get home and I look at the damage I have inflicted on my poor bank balance I know that it will have cost me dearly. However, when I think of the memories I have made, I know that I could not have afforded to not have those walks and not seen those smiles and not shared that laughter.
For those m0ments, there will never be a price to high. To share a meal with a friend, an ocean is no greater obstacle than a street. Though I cannot confirm when, know that it will be again, it will be often, and it will be as soon as I can no longer afford to be without your face sat across from me.
I have travelled through cities and across states and have been greeted by warm suns and even warmer smiles. I have gone where I was most welcomed and most missed. I have gone to where the fractions of my heart reside because I could not bear to stay away for any longer, knowing that my return to them is some far off date. This has been my journey and now one final stop remains.
Only one more night and I’d be fooling myself if I didn’t admit that there’s still a part of me that feels some trepidation at the knowledge of my return to that city that has come to mean so many different things. But this was my choice. An idea born on a plane ride away from that spot and the actions of some that were able to erase the behaviour of one.
I surround myself with those who bring out the best in me, but know nothing of that darkness that still haunts me. That darkness I am afraid to let into my life for fear it will consume me again. I will not allow them to face that fate. I will not allow my own weakness to cause them pain. I will not betray everything I have come to be because of the promise that they once held in my eyes.
I feel myself a coward because of this, because I am not strong enough to stand in that one person’s path and make myself known. Yet the thought lingers in my mind, what if they knew? Then part of me speaks again, they probably already do. I have stayed out of the way but I have not hidden. I refuse to believe that I should, but I will not call them out for a confrontation either. Their own cowardice will keep them away, of that I am almost certain and oddly thankful.
I hate that these thoughts dominate my mind this night whilst the child who has sat in my arms for the past few days tidies her toys behind me; but I cannot let my guard down. I cannot let this city be turned again. I have made my choice. I have finally come to see what others have seen, not in them but in me. I know who I am, but the knowledge of who they were remains.
The ghost of my past. Its hold still lingers even though I chose to let go. That city…what will you do to me this time? Someone read ahead and find out how this ends.
See some of you on the other side, see the rest of you when I get back. Be good.
No more sleeps. Today’s the day I get on the plane on the start of my “Grand American Adventure.” As usual it doesn’t feel like I’m actually going, and I’m pretty sure there’s something else I should be doing other than this, but I’ll sit for a while.
I told myself that I would never do this trip this way again, not West to East. The world’s are too different and I know in which I have been most welcome and where I have found myself left for dead as people groaned at the inconvenience of having to step over me. Still I go.
Time and circumstance has lead me to this adventure. Those people who I count amongst my favourites scattered across the globe and a need for me to see their faces once more. Part of me fearful of the days before me. I exist here in a world where I know no one dare do me harm for fear of reprisal from those who hold me tight. Funny, it is because of them that no one could ever hurt me. My own forcefield.
I venture out of it now. Testing myself to see how strong I am without it. I don’t do it blindly, each step someone there to catch me. The last one always being the hardest of course, how I will fare in the place that has claimed so many victims; so often me. But there’s where my secret weapon resides, my greatest protection, my biggest smile. Cowardice perhaps that my greatest danger knows nothing of my return, but I have learnt enough to know that one does not pull the tail of the dragon without their armour.
Too many items on my to-do-list remain. I’m afraid to look at it in case I see something I absolutely should have done and that I no longer have time to do. Batman will have to wait for my return, as will so many others. It’s always good to have something to come home to, and I have so many somethings. It’s getting harder and harder to leave this place, even though I know my return will be all too soon. Those on this side of the ocean making themselves so very necessary in my life.
Enough, I want more but there is no more time. There are instead last minute checks to make although I’m sure something will still be forgotten. There are suitcases to load and planes to catch and an adventure to be had. I am leaving on a jetplane, but I will be back again.
Until then…don’t ever doubt that I don’t miss you.