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California, New Zealand. Two passports, two homelands. And detours.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I just want to see some palm trees

My evening routine for the last five weeks has gone a bit like this (except tonight; still at work at 1am, trying write about neuromodulation and phantom pain at a fifth grade reading level. The below is waiting for me out there): 
Lean into the rain, wind, sleet coming at me head on, all the way to my car; drive home in the dark, which has been dark since about 5 pm, put on merino wool socks in the dark. Crank up the heat in the dark. Maybe punch on a light, finally. Turn on the evening news, drag my duvet to the lounge, heat up chicken soup in the kitchen, put the kettle on, stir soup, then organise myself on the couch - soup, socks, duvets, polka-dot covered hot water bottle, and open my laptop and cruise expedia.co. nz for the kind of hotel room in Los Angeles that I can wake up in on Monday morning in sunlit sheets, eyelids fluttering then opening to see palm trees and a pool, maybe hear a fountain somewhere, and I will think ah shoot its light outside, I'm late for work.
And then it will wash over me and everything in me will just exhale, unravel.
 Hello holiday.
And I will roll over, curl up, and go back to sleep, sun in hair, on shoulders, music from about a million different radio stations on the streets.

I'm loving the idea of spending just one night in the city I'm always only just passing through, even though I know I'm supposed to be sleeping off jet lag before getting on a flight overseas the next afternoon.
Cristi Silva, my best friend from high school, is driving down from Santa Barbara for the night. I'm so excited.
She said we can go anywhere I want in LA Sunday night. The town is ours.
You know where I want to go? About five metres away to the hotel pool. I want to eat baked Doritos, drink diet root beer, flip through a stack of really bad, pointless magazines, maybe even bridal magazines and hold up the pictures and do the Psycho theme and then you know where I want to go to dinner?
International House of Pancakes.
Maybe Carrows. Is there a Baker's Square in L.A.? I want waffles and streaky bacon for dinner. I want to be my 15-year-old self again. Eat cool whip on toast with strawberry jam.
And then crawl back to bed.
I've been planning on waking up in L.A. for about six weeks now. I don't know why it represents everything I feel I need right now. There is a lovely, very mature, international itinerary that unfolds in the days after.
This is also one of my first holidays as an adult that isn't an actual life move.
Its just a holiday and I love that I do want to come back to where I am now in a month.
I want to come back to post offices with 'please remove muddy boots' signs, and quiz nights at the pub, mulled wine, dessert nights, mid-winter dinners, snow on the mountains, Jamie Oliver cooking shows, freezing cold winds at Oreti beach, long baths on winter mornings listening to Beth Orton, opening up the bathroom window to see the frost covering everything outside. Persimmons and pears and grated nutmeg in porridge.
I love that this holiday is supposed to be just that, a month to just relax a little bit and think about what's next. And be thankful.
(And eat baked doritos and wear big sunglasses by a pool and sleep till noon like a rock star).