Monday, 3 April 2017

Arrival

Soon after my violation at the hands of America, my heart still beating in my chest, I was winging my way to Britain.

Watching the sun set over the desert, flying directly over Las Vegas and Chicago as they lit up the night sky and then more than one ginger ale calmed my nerves. The empty, vast, bleak blackness of Canada and the Atlantic giving way to the surprise of sunrise over the British Isles.

I remember thinking as my eyes locked sight on land "..so this where I'm from", which was as strange to write as it was to think at the time, a sentiment I'd never previously considered and now feel I should have a DNA test to confirm.

Following my experience through transit in the USA, I was dreading whatever horrors awaited me at the United Kingdom border, then 'beep' and I was in, 2 seconds! 2 damn seconds America!

I couldn't believe it, I thought I'd wandered through the wrong gate, out a side door or into a toilet, but no.. I walked straight up to the gate, no line, beeped my passport through and that was it.. I was in.

So unexpected was the speed of my concession that I actually considered going back to check that due diligence had been served.

Sleep deprived, exhausted and still pumped with the adrenaline of the effort to simply be here, I suddenly felt calm. Our flight was early, my friends weren't there to meet me, I had a sit.

Ultra-aware, I scanned everybody, faces, clothes, I felt like a fraud.. did they know I was an outsider?

A face I hadn't seen in 10 years emerged through the crowd, hugs were exchanged, hot chocolates were drank and the nonsensical ramblings began in earnest once in the car.

The sun shone through on a brisk winter's day as we passed from highway to city, my wide eyes sending a bevvy of questions to my mouth, all of them garbled out, words missing, overlapping, my brain hardly bothering to engage my ears. This statue, that bridge, why is there an enormous purple plastic pipe running for miles down the side of the road pinned in a foolhardy manor to that rickety fence?

Here we go, off to Brighton to stay with my friends, except the car stops "We're here!".

My friends have moved, I live in London now.

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