Well, yes, not really the chill pre-trip weekend I had (rather stupidly) anticipated. No, not really at all. It’s almost ten as I write this and I’m waiting for my sheets to get out of the dryer and I have to be at the airport at four in the morning but that’s the nice thing about Wellington, you know, it’s small and compact and I am never more than ten minutes from anywhere by cab. Which still doesn’t really take away the sting of having to be anywhere other than my bed or in Hugh Laurie’s strong and tender embrace at four in the morning, I have to say.
I had kind of wanted to have a chill pre-trip weekend, you know: gather my thoughts, gather my various t-shirts with hilarious pictures on them, get my act together and get ready to go. Ha. Yeah, more like, go out for “leaving do” drinks at the Southern Cross and have conversations like, “so, when you get your nipple pierced, do they, like, give you ice, or what?” (they don’t, by the way) and then decide it was time to go when former co-workers started falling all over each other and wanting to braid each others’ hair, and then make all sorts of yummy food for the dinner on Saturday, and then ask an innocent question (“So, how’s your boyfriend?”) that ended up with tears in the pasta and some very sad and emotional breakup duty and an impromptu sleepover and then a one-hour lunch that turned into two and was of a nature to make one contemplate, for reals, ethics and morals and the meaning of life and all of that when really I should have been contemplating how many socks I have and what the hell happened to my awesome Fijian sulu that I sure hope I didn’t leave in Queenstown.
When I got home from town A. and I had the kind of supremely satisfying conversation that we often do when we both happen to be home and kind of pottering around doing our laundry and cleaning the blinds and going “Mmm hmm!” and “No, girl, he did NOT” and “Well, you know I have always suspected as much about him” and “You’ll never believe what happened then.” I cleaned my room and talked to Cherie on the phone and ate some leftover pasta and dipped some ginger nuts in some tea and got all packed up. There’s nothing to do now except put my sheets on the bed, go to sleep, wake up in six hours, and go to the airport. Tomorrow night I will probably be having a fairly similar conversation with Georgina, to which I am very much looking forward.
It’s been so busy, man. I’m still feeling optimistic. It just sort of hit me about thirty minutes ago that…well, it’s weird, like, I’m leaving home, but I left home a year ago, and I’m going on this fun holiday, but part of the reason I’m going on this holiday is that because what was sort of kind of supposed to be this other holiday is now just about over, and, not to put to fine a point on it, I have to go across the ditch for a while because otherwise I will become an illegal immigrant. And then when I come back, come back home to Wellington, I’ll become someone who is trying to stretch one year into two, and I am not sure what two years will be like, compared to one. I just said goodnight to A. and she was like, “Don’t let those Aussies push you around! Don’t let them talk to you about rugby! You tell them that we’regoing to…oh, right, they’ll hear the American accent, they won’t know that you live here.” It’s so strange to think that I could have been packing up not just my green pack for six weeks abroad but everything, my whole room, my whole life here. I could have been taking things to the op shops and taking down the pictures on my walls, saying goodbye forever to people instead of See You In September. And who knows, maybe in September I will do those things.
When I was talking to my poor broke-up sleepover friend last night about…well, what do you think we talked about? Anyway, she said she was really freaked out about being single, that she wasn’t good at being alone. “I don’t know how you do it,” she said.
“I don’t have a partner, but I’m not alone,” I replied. “I have had to specifically schedule alone time for myself these past two weeks, you know? I pretty much do whatever I want and I love a lot of people and the vast majority of them love me back and I have a pretty good time, in general. I’m not isolated. I sleep alone, but that’s about it. I have people, you know?”
Part of me, this evening, is excited to think that I’m going to meet some more of my people over there, for the next couple of weeks. I already know some of them (Hi George! Hi Sarah!) and I’m kind of curious as to who the ones I don’t know will be, what they’ll be like. I am totally looking forward to the trip (Wallabies! Octopus!) , but just at the moment…I just feel sort of tired and out of sorts and it’s also freezing cold in this room and I’m afraid my bag is too heavy and I’m worried about my shoes and I am just really really hating the thought of that damn six am flight. And I haven’t thought about it much, and I don’t know what that’s about, and I’m afraid I’m going to make a big mistake somehow over there. And part of me just wants to stay home and not go anywhere tomorrow at six, or really at any time whatsoever.
Okay, you know what? I am, literally as I write this sentence, listening to The Cure and feeling all angsty and discombobulated, so I think that’s a sign I should wrap this up and get into bed. I will leave you with a picture of what’s happening with my hair lately and assure you, that with this on my head, I cannot fail but to take Australia by storm.