Edit Blog Post
Published: June 29th 2006
It was 11am when my flight landed, but it might as well have been night. The sky was dark, the weather, damp. And the humidity hung over the city the way smoke does in a bar just before closing. But that didn’t matter. It wouldn’t have mattered if the sewers had backed-up and varmints had finally taken over. I loved this dirty town.
I had taken a 2-week vacation from my assignment in the Far East. A visit home seemed like a good way to catch up with old friends, spend time with the family and eat as much salami as a person could do without dying.
I had been away seven months. Everybody wanted to see me and I did all I could to fit ‘em in. Lunch with Johnny. Drinks at McLaughlin’s. Then a nightcap or two before turning in. I was back in the swing of things, barely missing a beat.
But it didn’t take long for things to go wrong. I had a nervous feeling. Something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Just getting to sleep became a chore because I knew I’d be up 3 hours later, pacing the floor. I started to suspect a parasite had hitched a ride in my intestines and was making me pay for all the cheap meals I had had in Sumatra.
I thought I'd walk it off and ended up in the ‘ol neighborhood. I stopped by the Pink Pony for a cup of coffee. There was a new waitress, fresh from Dallas with blonde hair and the slow way words dripped out of her mouth made me forget about my troubles for a while.
“So y’all live in the neighborhood?” She asked me, looking me over with her pretty green eyes.
“Not anymore. But I used to live over at 190.”
“So where y’at now?
“Banda Aceh, Indonesia.”
That gets 'em every time. I decided to help her out.
“I’m just here for a visit.”
“Oh, well then there's a nice hotel just up the block...”
“I’m not a tourist dammit!” I snapped at her and slammed my cup down. She bit her lip, and backed away.
No dame from Texas was gonna tell me what to see in my own damn town.
And then it hit me. That’s what’s been buggin' me. Blondie was right. I didn’t live here anymore as much as the next cheap tourist that just got off the bus at Port Authority with a suitcase and taxi fare. The signs had been there, but I had ignored every one of ‘em. My apartment had been let, my possessions, packed away. My main squeeze had kicked me to the curb. And I had even gotten lost getting back to the place I was staying at - twice.
“I used to have a life here!” I gritted between my teeth to no one in particular. But nobody cared. Not New York. Not even Blondie. She had already moved on to the next customer.
I paid my bill, grabbed my hat and hit the streets. So this was the way it’s gonna be, huh? Frankly, I didn’t know where I belonged anymore. I was ready to go back to the Far East, but after that, I didn’t know. All I did know is that I had a new home now - nowhere and everywhere.
Tot: 2.517s; Tpl: 0.016s; cc: 13; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0414s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb