The post-vacation haze is still fuddling me. It's hard to complete a sentence without getting so giddy I trip over my words, or else I spend an undue amount of time searching for a certain word to complete my sentence. That's awkward.
In its benign form, I keep glancing at my feet on the sidewalk or street, thinking, Wow, I'm really here, just like I did in Cherbourg, Dublin, and Alesund. Over there, the strange cities felt completely open to me, like they were Schroedinger's structures, waiting to be observed and therefore defined. The post office could literally have been in any direction, as could the grocery store, cultural museum, or bookstore (full of books I was incapable of reading)! That's kind of carrying over into my life in Minneapolis, though I know it will fade soon. But right now all I have is a sound grasp of the streets beneath me and an open-box sense of the rest of the city. It's easy for the city to feel tall and oppressive when you know where everything is and there's no variation (except that Minneapolis loves to tear things down or replace businesses with other businesses), but when everything is new and vague, it's like a book that's daring you to read it. "Come on, what's on the next page? You'll never guess."
I even feel a certain peace around other people. The young NO SPECIFIC ETHNICITY man in ropes of silver-tone jewelry and ludicrously baggy jeans no longer sparks a sense of threat. Instead, it's almost like I've missed him and it's good to see him. He doesn't feel the same way about me, of course, so I refrain from running up and embracing him, covering his cheeks in kisses. But I hope I have a little aura of gratitude around me that some people can pick up on.
Don't worry, this loopiness will burn itself out in a few days. Then I'll break into my Glengoyne 21-year and light up a Vieux Carre Robusto and stare bitterly out the porch window, wondering how long it'll be before I can get out of the country again.
Maybe sooner rather than later. There have been drastic (shall we say Draconian) changes at work, and a deathly pallor hangs in the air here. As a contractor, I'm surprised I'm still here, honestly, but I wonder if I should begin constructing a safety net. Well, shouldn't everyone...