the way I was

I’ll get to explore my relationship with the “Black Bomber” for a while longer, as Siobhan extends her stay at Mr. Transmission. We’re hoping to welcome our Toyota back Monday noon. In the meantime, Nick and I rearrange our weekly routines. Because of the car rental rules, he’s not allowed to drive the Black Bomber, meaning I now need to pick up our Farmers’ Market shopping. We decide to postpone the rest of the town chores until Monday.
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I was vaguely disappointed at not being forced to stay at a motel in town. In my previous life, working at CBC Television in Toronto, I used to do a fair bit of travelling, and I enjoyed investigating new hotel rooms. I would explore all the drawers, closets and cubby holes, making sure to put useful items in each useful place. If my schedule allowed, I’d take a bath, trying out any complimentary body care products. I’d sit and look out the window, and check out local television programming. Motel rooms weren’t as much fun, but still, I enjoyed the sense of being away.

I haven’t travelled far or been away from home for almost 15 years now. There’s been so much exciting stuff happening that as it is, I regret not being able to be at home more. So I was fascinated to hear myself worrying about contact lens solution when Nick and I discussed my staying in a motel the day Siobhan broke down.

I don’t wear contacts any more, haven’t done since 2005.

My old internal checklist of what I needed to be comfortable had sprung up fresh in my mind. That contact lenses were the first things that presented themselves as possible problems with an overnight stay astonished me. It wasn’t just habit, or a well-learned custom. It was the instantaneous feeling of my old life being present. I was suddenly a single woman in a foreign city, temporarily adrift and bereft of her comforts. Feeling the barren solitude of being stuck in an unfamiliar room, without my clarinet or book, I admonish myself to pack carefully so I’ll be able to re-create my true world in an alien environment.

A moment later I return. It’s 2014. I’ve a husband, work colleagues, different resources and different responsibilities. I’m amazed at my brief, vivid journey to the past, but soon I’m swallowed up by the challenges of the current situation, and my old, single life slips away, leaving a curious trace of sadness.

#travelling #comfort #packing #memory #the past

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