I’m packing. I knew I had to go to Portland, but thought it could wait until Monday to give me a few more days at home, but it couldn’t. In my heart I knew that too, so when I made the decision yesterday it’s not like it upset me… Sort of.
I mean, I don’t really mind travel. Sort of. I like seeing new places, meeting new people, seeing friends who are far from me. I’m easygoing too, I’m not really fussed about where I eat, or where I sleep, or what sort of bed or pillow I have. Jet lag gets me down, but generally speaking I bounce back pretty fast with a beer and a good nights sleep.
I hate airports and airplanes, which I think is entirely normal. I think of them as necessary gateways to other places, but they are full of cranky strangers with fast agendas, and they have officious agents with tremendous rules and the whole time I am in one I feel as though I am at the mercy of whatever forces are on the move that day – and that’s not even counting my feelings about the various security measures that are there to cope with. (I am speaking here rather assertively of my belief that while most security rules are reasonable, I do not believe that most security officers should be allowed the individual latitude to make up their own versions. Ask me sometime about the guy from Homeland security who took away my banana because of his personal belief that it counted as a “gel over 4 ounces”. I deserve a medal for my behaviour that day. A big elegant medal with jewels and engraving.) Even with all of that, I have (sort of) learned to cope with airports and airplanes, and have developed a wicked series of eccentricities that let me have a pretty good time -or as good a time as possible, while I’m in them.
All of this means that I’ve come to a sort of reckoning with travel and how frequently I have to do it to earn a living. (Sort of.) It means that I can pack and leave anywhere for anywhere in minutes. I bug out of a place faster than a MASH unit under fire, and I can make myself comfortable in my new place almost as fast – no matter where that new place is. I’m basically good-natured and curious, and I find the charms of the next locale in a snap. This means that tonight, as I’m putting things in my bag and arranging stuff for a really early flight tomorrow, I should be really fine.
I’m flying somewhere I love, to be with a friend I adore so that we can do work that really, really needs doing… and I’ve even got the perk of Rachel H. flying on Monday to be with me… I love staying with Tina, the food is good, she’s a vegetarian too – and we share similar relationships with caffeine, beer and yarn, which makes things about as easy as they can be. When the team gathers we seriously rock the To Do list, and I love that too. This is my favourite sort of trip (vacation excluded) and I have no idea why – in the face of all that I’ve gotten used to and all the lovely perks this work trip has – why I (sort of) don’t want to go.
I suppose it is partly that I can’t take Joe and the girls with me… but even if I could pack them right along with that enormous blanket and all the wee comfort items I’m sticking in there… I think that this time it wouldn’t do it. This time I want my own bed. I want to sit in my garden. I want to see if the sweetpeas make it to the third part of the trellis, and I want my pillow to smell like my pillow at night. I want the cat to piss me off. I want to do the laundry (sort of) and be here when Sam calls to ask if she can go to the village. I want to wonder if the upstairs window is closed when it’s raining and be able to close it. A trumpet player moved in down the street and he practices at night, and I want to sit in the heat and dark of the city at night and listen to his music waft down the street, even if he does sort of suck.
If it’s possible I think that this trip, I’m not just going to miss my husband and my daughters…
but also my home.