25 July 2012

Back East


First leg of the journey accomplished. Flew back east, a general term that is used in the Western United States to refer to anywhere really east of the Mississippi. Back east for me means the Northeast - a combination of the greater New York metropolitan area and New England. I love this place. The people, the smells, the chaos, the beauty, the ugly. There's no place like home.

My plane landed in New York and my sister Elizabeth and her man Ramiro collected me, my cat, and my luggage. It is hot and humid here, but not unpleasantly so. Once settled and expressed, we all had a slice in Elmhurst, Queens. My sister just moved to a new place last week. The neighborhood is vibrant, full of little kids and puppies and restaurants, and safer than her previous place in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. We waited until after rush hour then drove erratically at 100 miles an hour north on I-95 in Ramiro's supped up Jetta. I fell asleep in the backseat curled around FC, my cat, in response to stress avoidance and total travel weariness. Eventually I woke up in Connecticut and we arrived in New Haven and enthusiastically breathed in the east harbor's smell, opening the windows to inhale the mix of ocean and petroleum.

I unloaded and tucked into a bowl of homemade corn chowder, caught up with my friend Paul and his daughter Sasha, and introduced FC, the cat, to his new world. From his initial reactions, I have hope that this will work out well. I am also reminded again that I have become remiss on the important things in my friend's worlds - birthdays, funerals, weddings, life. I must do something about this.

After the house settled into sleep, I started to take stock of my gear. This is it for the next year - two bags and a backpack. Tomorrow morning, I head back into New York to the Ethiopian Consulate to submit all forms and paperwork for a visa. I hope this will be ready before my flight on Tuesday.