After two continuous days of travel, I am greeted by United States Customs Officials with a less than gracious tone. It started as I left Alessandria, took a train to Milano, then a bus to the airport, (but not before I had eaten a fantastic Taglitele alla Bolognese) then a plane to London where I hopped another bus to the center of London. Here I had about two hours to down two pints of Kronenbourg in a fantastically authentic looking British Pub (run by French folks) and eat a plate of fish and chips at the Italian restaurant around the corner. For some reason, after 10 PM, the only eating establishments I could find were Italian. Then it is off to another train to the Gatwick Airport where I arrive at 1 AM, 10 hours before my flight, and proceed to "sleep" on the floor until 7am, when I get up and begin the gruelling 14 hour process of going home.
The real fun begins as I land in Charlotte, NC, and get to get off the plane, go through customs where they take our bags off the plane, make us go through security to a thing that puts our bags back on the plane. THE SAME PLANE. From there (security checkpoint), I get to walk directly to the main security checkpoint, to be flagged for a more in depth security checkpoint. Let Freedom Ring!
Even being back in the states, I feel all of the parts of my real life creeping back in. The petty things, like what kind of music people like, or how they dress begins to influence me. Maybe since my level of communication was so low overseas these things never occur to me, but here, they hang on me like a cloud that I cannot shake. I don't really give a shit about this stuff anymore, but it's as though an infection creeps up from American soil and permeates my brain.
Over the last week since being home, this fog has not lifted, but the memory of who I was when all of these unimportant concerns was not a part of my personality has been quickly dying. I could feel it slipping away as I waited to board the plane in London. Amongst friends in Italy, or strangers in Spain, I was happy. Here, I have to go to fucking therapy to try and figure out how to be happy. It's a sad, disgusting and powerful realization that I have known for years by the name of all of it's obscure manifestations, that are only made clear with the sharp contrast of a different life so clear in my memory. I really hate it here.
Dramatic I know, but it's true, and it has been for a long time.