Around about an hour. That’s the sleep I took between giving up on the rest of the abandon ship routine, and getting into my uncle’s car for the airport. Goodbye Nottingham’s frying pan, hello the pandemic July volcano of Frisco.
It really felt like abandonship at the last – a mini-skip on the front and me bailing possessions into it with buckets. Becoming dispossessed of the stuff which was either too heavy for airline baggage or too vital to be consigned to a shipping container for several months. All the little nitty gritty of my nine months in the house.
Embarrassed by my riches, I scooped up the surplus that was too hard to donate to a better cause and hurled it into the yellow rectangular funnel to the land-fill. Exhausting work – so I slept hard on the mattress dragged down the stairs, it being more ready for collection than I. The usual feeling on waking hit me stronger that ever as the answers to the boot-strap loader were harder than usual – where is this, what country are my children in, what’s happening next?
The Dreamliner was mostly dreamless despite the cabin being dimmed to subdue a young baby and its mother. The day after BA gave it’s 747s early retirement, the new plane I was in was largely devoid of passengers and the cabin crew sought to subdue me with booze, cookies and attention. Normally keeping off the sauce these days, I elected for vodka on a whim, and no sooner than I had poured and gulped the first, a third and fourth were offered. Judiciously declined, so that I could focus on comedy stylings of Dave “Not the Rock” Bautista in Stuber.
“Are you watching something good?” asked the ever-attentive cabin crew when they realized I wasn’t stunned into slumber.
“No. I chose the worst movie so that I don’t care if I nap during it.” Though of course I did care, and didn’t nap.
The bounties of the voyage gave pleasant distraction from the larger themes of transition. Two suitcases packed with children’s clothes and a few of my things. Landing in the covid-spiking great state of Texas if not in Collin County within which my personal slice of Frisco sits. Separation (natural and perhaps to be expected for my life’s oil from its peanut butter). A nu start in a city in which the only adult I know is the peanut butter in question.
That was Saturday, today is Thursday. I have to type this as my brain has very limited capacity to do things like count numbers of days between dates. Its cerebral cortex is completely devoid of shopping hormones after the preceding days of binge shopping for new copies of things that I’ve just shovelled into a skip. Not always the fun things – just the items that go to making a normal life – tin openers, glass ware, tea towels.
Things are too pressing at present to consider what a normal life might mean, and whether it’s desirable. In times of stress, my limbic system takes over and tells me to get the same old stuff. It tells me that I will need to open tins, and that I know how to use a tin-opener. A tin-opener is a must then. But which kind? Unfortunately there is too much choice in such a simple decision, even within one giant retailer. So by noon, my decision hormones are depleted, and I would be better served perhaps with a bucket – running into a shop and scooping a random selection of things off the shelves and into a shopping cart the size of, well, of a mini-skip of course.
Although naturally, I’m self-isolating. Now that I have running water (I recall that was the third day, as that was pretty significant), broadband (sixth day I counted on my fingers just now), and the ability to wash and dry clothes while chilling berries in a fridge, sat on a couch pointed at a TV, maybe some of my brain space will be liberated and I can focus on the bigger picture of the situation. Like what to order for dinner.