Catastrofia Across the Pond
I need to tell you a million things all at once.
About panic and its retroactively obvious lack of necessity, Catastrofia, the near seven foot mummified knight I touched, being offered cigarettes and scratch lottery cards by dead-eyed flight attendants…
A million miles ago I was packing and unpacking my pack. My chest was tight tight tight – not so tight as last year driving to the airport to Saratoga but still – I had no concept of what I was going to do I was just running with my eyes closed and hoping for the best. Hoping I had done enough preventative proactive actions to ensure that I would at least start strong and be able to get my footing. Be able to adapt and grab opportunities. There was no way for me to leave without feeling like I was messing up, forgetting what I’d need most, taking what I’d need least.
“So, are you going to miss me?”
The aunt. My roommate.
My patron. Saint and saviour. Without whom none of this is possible. Without whom my life is in a shitty little basement or shared with countless others in an effort to afford space. The biggest gift is also the hardest challenge. She and I, we are of a kind. We share familial genes of blue black and grey. Of fear. Of blindness to our true selves and how we are seen loved and admired by others.
I try to tell her how fantastic she is as much as possible. Because it’s true and because I need to hear me say this because I need to hear it too. To help her see all the fantastic and interesting people who gravitate around her constantly. Because it’s true and because I need to hear me say this because I need to hear it too. Remind her … remind her not be like I fear I am. To push the reaction needle closer to positive and further from the automatic go to position of negation and dismissal. That and I really like living with her. When it comes to the NY Times crossword, we are the perfect team. If that’s not a microcosm of what we aspire to in close friends, companions and accomplices I don’t know what is.
“Of course I’m going to miss you!”
I really am.
So, I’m tight in the chest, I have run out of chances to pack and repack and I’m in a car driving towards an aisle seat in metal bucket on a string airline and…
… and then I’m in the airport and all of that is gone and it’s like it never happened except the feeling of maybe just a little silliness maybe just a little melodrama. I laugh at myself. I laugh at Catastrofia.
Catastrofia. That’s me. The shrinker blew my little mind dictionary some months ago. He was doing a little of the old blah blah blah when he threw ‘catastrophise’ into the mix. I couldn’t believe that was a word and called him on it. It’s a new word in the medical lexicon. Trust me, it is and it is me. So I’ve adopted and adapted it.
Catastrofia. Call me catastrophy for short.
I’m taking her on this trip and we’re gonna learn a thing or two, she and I.
I was gonna tell you all the funny stories that have happened since I left but I don’t think you need to know that Ryanair is the strangest flying experience I’ve ever had. That I met two little twenty one year old American kids doing a whirlwind Eurotour who thought I was hilarious in my time warp borderline hallucinatory travel state. That last night’s drag show was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. That I am so happy to have my two best favourites in Dublin city and that walking around town with them checking out all the beautiful bearded lads, seeing plays and drinking new beers is the perfect antidote for the Start of the Trip Blues. That touching the finger of a NINE HUNDRED year old naturally mummified corpse of a SIX FOOT SIX crusading knight may just be the highlight of this whole journey and it’s only day one. My cupie doll host made me promise not to tell you about the drama below her home at the end of the lane above the kitchen of the unicorn restaurant, the oldest restaurant in Dublin, that seems to be unexpectedly going under today as we return home carefully not touching our sacred lucky fingers.
I can tell you all this when I get home.
Now I’m excited and I’m finally ready to plan this trip. and how I’m never going to want to go home… except I will because I know that I have a good home to come back to.
Okay. It’s cold and rainy and I can’t remember why i packed all this crap and I don’t care.
Time for a Guinness and a whiskey. Time for an art show and a play. Time to go out with the b’ys till way past my bedtime… oh yeah, look for the picture of my sleeping arrangement to come soon. They call it the crib.