Home, where my thoughts escape me
Home, where my music’s playin’
Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me…
-Simon and Garfunkel
Yesterday, my brother John, my sister Brigitte, and myself went to the Inkong’s house for lunch. The Inkongs are Jack’s family, and Jack is my sister’s boyfriend. Jack’s mom cooked us a feast since it was my last day on Ko Tao. We had rice, tom yum, spicy shrimp, molded blood cubes (you read that right…), and iced cucumbers to cool everything down. The whole family was there: Jack, his sister Ray, Ray’s baby, and both of Jack’s parents. The Inkong’s care for Brigitte, John and I as if we were their own.
The last few weeks have been amazing. I have been blessed to have spent time with Brigitte and John. We’ve partied, suntanned, shared books, gone swimming, had long talks, laughed, hiked through the jungle, and spent time with friends from around the world. I know it is rare and lucky to be so close to your siblings, and to be able to spend time with them abroad, and for these last few weeks, I am infinitely grateful.
Yesterday, Brigitte and I were talking. I can’t believe your trip is already over! she said, eyes huge. It seems like yesterday that you got here! She shook her head in a fatalistic manner. Before we know it, we’re gonna be sixty! Brigitte is in a continual battle with time. It’s no use assuring her that it is a battle she cannot win, and that she may as well accept it. She insists on playing the game, trying to wrap her mind around something that minds are not able to wrap around: the passage of time. Brigitte, I said. You’ve gotta quit trippin’ about time! She shot me a look and then brooded for a moment. What she said next cracked me up. You like to blog, I like to trip out about time, okay?!
It’s true. While I can’t understand why Brigitte continually frustrates herself by trying to comprehend and compartmentalize time, she cannot understand why I blog. Brig, I say. Blogging is just a way of sharing your writing. It only sounds nerdy because of the name. But she’s not convinced. So we’ve decided to leave each other alone in regards to our individually strange habits.
But I do have to admit: This year has flown by. And I’ve been blogging the whole time 😉 So on this last night of my trip, from steamy, hot, noisy Bangkok, I want to thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because of you, I had a stage to dance on, a place to practice the art of writing. Your comments, your thoughts, and your personal emails made all the difference in the world. You inspired me to keep writing, because I knew you were reading. And simply by reading, you supported me in doing something that I love, and helped me become better at it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It has been a joy writing for you.
In twenty-four hours, I will be on a plane bound for Seattle. In the past, going home was always a bummer. Leaving the world behind was like returning to school after summer vacation. Returning home after a month abroad with friends, we would pose for pictures looking sad, thumbs turned down. No one wanted to go home. Why would you?
This time, it’s different. Going home is the best part. A year ago, I said goodbye to Seattle, and to someone I loved very much. Drew has supported me one hundred percent during this year away, and also for the year leading up to this trip, as I planned, researched and saved. He’s never asked me to come home, but he’s always let me know that he will be there for me the moment I do. Stay away as long as you can, he says. Don’t come home just because you’re bored, or you miss me. Stay away as long as possible. He knows what’s good for me. And now, what’s good for me is coming home.
In the twelve years I’ve known Drew, he’s always had an uncanny ability to find me. I would get a strange tingling sensation, look up, and see Drew climbing in my window. I would deliberately disappear from a crowded scene or party, and minutes later, Drew would appear, looking concerned. He always seemed to know exactly where I was.
Years ago, a group of us went camping at the Gorge. Drew didn’t have a ticket to the show, so he was going to sneak in. By then, I knew it was useless to ask him how he’d find me in a crowd of forty thousand people- somehow, he always did. Later, dancing on the grassy hill to Tom Petty, I felt someone’s arms go around my waist, and Drew was there, kissing my ear.
Now it is my turn to find him. I know exactly where I’m going. Soon I will be in a sunny apartment in West Seattle, where books line the shelves, plants grow on windowsills, and my love is within comfortable reach. If India was a strange, curried stew with eyeballs floating in it, and Thailand was an ice cream sundae, then Drew is my cherry on top.
So on that mildly strange note, thank you again for being with me this year. You have supported me in ways you couldn’t have imagined. I feel like I’ve connected with many of you in new, surprising ways, and it makes me happy to have done so. I look forward to seeing every one of your smiling faces when I return.
Muchos besos, and follow your dreams!!!