My friend Manya is coming to pick me up for the airport in about an hour. I have my travel outfit on: loose jersey dress, and flats, with leggings, a cardie,my toothbrush, four trashy magazines, and a change of underwear in my carry-on. I’ve said the goodbyes that need to be said and made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the flight to LA this evening. I’ll have my last cafe con leche at the Versailles in the Miami airport–para llegar y claro con azucar, por favor.
I still haven’t cried, about any of this, but yesterday I got very flustered at the post office when I was doing errands with my sister. “I don’t understand what’s going on!” I whisper-shrieked. “Why don’t I know what’s happening? What are we even doing right now?” She told me that she’d been expecting me to break down a bit (“But I’m fine! Everything’s fine! Except I am not sure how to send this parcel to New Zealand!!”) and that she would take care of everything from here on out. The last couple of days have been spent almost entirely in going over what the transition will be from Mom’s point of view–radiation ends, she moves up to Tampa, she gets to buy all new furniture–but I can’t imagine what going back to Wellington will be like.
It’ll be cold and overcast, probably, when I finally get there Friday morning NZ time. I guess I’ll take the weekend to recuperate and eat roti chennai with vegetarian curry and to spend some time truly alone for the first time in months, and then it’s back to the commute and the cube on Monday. I barely remember what it is I do for a living–I can barely visualise the walk from the bus stop to my office. New Zealand is where I live in my little flat and go to band practice and have conversations about how awesome monkeys are–things I haven’t done in two months. It’s only been two months and I don’t know how I will fit back into what seems like a completely responsibility-free life again. I don’t know how I will stand to be so far away from her. I don’t know what will happen if I need to come back.
This is what happens, when there are too many feelings and thoughts and questions and worries to be made sense of–they wash out to the very edges and corners of your heart and curl up and dry out like seaweed on the beach. What happens after that, I don’t know. I can hardly think about even getting on the plane in three hours.