One Week ’til Blastoff
One week from today, at this time, I will have schlepped my bags by taxi and train to Milano Malpensa airport; checked in, with machine gun carrying guards in the mezzanine above me; gone through security; waited; flown over the Alps to London two hours north; gone through security again; eaten an airport meal; wound my way through Heathrow; boarded, gotten settled and begun my 9 hour flight back to Seattle.
I just went grocery shopping. What favorite foods do I want to eat again (and again) before I go? I bought bresaola, and mortadella with pistachios, buffalo milk fresh mozzarella, fresh figs and sicilian tomatoes. One (or two) more meals of octopus? Who do I want to see and say goodbye to? How many more last hurrahs with my girlfriends? Where do I want to go? What will wish I had photographed?
As I buy groceries and supplies this week, I have to calculate how much I can use in six days. As I go for a bike ride, or subway ride, I have to realize it may be the last one (for a long while).
From a journal entry today:
“I have grown a sweet affection for this country. It’s not the starry-eyed, naive enthusiasm of a tourist’s love of the sights. But it’s a complex recognition of the quirks, an all-too-recent connection with individuals along my path, the creation for myself of a way of being, and as yet, merely a hint of who these people are. How can I stay away for long? I am leaving a part of myself here, and have lodged a part of Italy in my heart, to carry with me. Under what circumstances will I return, and for how long?”