Ugh, you guys. To say that I have the post-holiday (or post-vacation, for all you Americans out there) blues is an understatement. I flew back to London from Seattle via Vancouver yesterday feeling sadder than sad. I was (and still am) down in the freaking dumps. I feel like the little boy who's crying outside my flat window right now because he was dragged from the park by his mom and dad when he was just having some fun.
Last night, I went to bed at 9:30 and woke up thinking that I had slept for hours on end and that it was at least 5:30 a.m. I was so sure of this, that when I gleefully picked up my phone to check, I actually sat right up in bed in shock/horror that the glowing screen read a smug 12:30 a.m. right back at me. Curses, jet lag! Curses!
To begin with, I sat on this deck with my family every night, chatting about nonsense and watching dragonflies dive bomb my brother's head until the sky turned purple and slowly slid into darkness:
I basked in the hot, dry heat of a Puget Sound summer and watched my dad barbecue chicken wings on that very same deck as the sky broke open and relieved us of the heat by pouring down a fragrant, summer rain. I sprawled out in the director's chair above, listening to the wind chimes at our front door and wondering why that familiar sound never followed me to England.
Everything seemed old and new all at once. When it grew dark outside, my brother and I retreated indoors to watch back-to-back episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a low-budget children's program which aired on Nickelodeon in the 90s that my brother routinely watched every Saturday while my parents made Chinese hot pot. We'd watch until the commercials, run out to stuff a piece of Chinese broccoli or a fishball in our mouths and jump back onto their bed, huddling in a blanket together like a big and small rock. This time, I still hid my face behind the blanket like I did when we were 5 and 10.
I touched everything: my old coloring pencils, secret diaries, and photo albums. I re-read my high school yearbook.
I watched the beautiful, majestic Mount Rainier appear and disappear as we ascended and descended the hills of Small Town, USA. My small town.
I left strands of hair scattered in the downstairs bathroom sink and my bobby pins everywhere. I didn't bother to clean up.
We played a game after dinner: my brother would ask my dad, "What were you doing in ..." and he'd insert a year. I found out fascinating things about my dad's childhood and recorded snippets of them on my iPhone so I could listen to them later.
I sat on that deck and closed my eyes, imagining the airplane seat I'd occupy six days later - smelling it, sensing it, grieving the loss of that moment in my mind already. I just looked at FlightAware online - that flight-tracking website - and burst into tears at the words, "Origin: London Heathrow, Destination: Seattle-Tacoma Intl, Duration: On The Way!"
What I wouldn't give to be on my way, right now.
I miss you too much.