I'm sitting in the lobby of the Gershwin hotel on the corner of 5th Avenue and east 27th Street in Manhattan and I'm one flight away from circumnavigating the globe. Last night standing on top of the empire state building, 86 floors up, looking at the spectacular view I couldn't help being struck by the circularity of the whole thing. Being on top of such a properous city, encircled by the headquarters of the richest companies on earth and almost exactly a year ago being downtown in the bowels of Bangkok watching the hustle of a city whose people are schmoozing and lying and sneering and laughing just trying to get by in the thick heat of a country so much poorer. And of course there's the whole in between, places poorer than the latter (Laos, Cambodia) and on par at least with the former ( Hong Kong, Sydney).
It's unrelentingly strange now that I think about it, and I hadn't until I started writing this a couple of minutes ago, that I've almost done it. That thing I said I was going to do more than a year ago. Travel around the world. And yes I did lament at the time that it was almost passe at this point to take such a trip. And in a way maybe it is. And the route wasn't anything particularly out of the ordinary. But still. It was. It was for me. I'm visited, oddly, at certain occassions - when things have gotten a little weird, when I'm looking at something my destiny never had in mind for me, a wild spider the size of your head in a jungle distracting me from loaded guns, a rollercoaster taxi ride through the neon streets of some Asian metropolis, signs written in their strange language, the world turned utterly upside down - by a vision of myself as a child, the normal, petty, ordinary hum drum splendour of a happy childhood and I can't reconcile, sometimes, the insulation of that life with the exposure of this new one.
I'll be home very soon now. Just two flights and a bus ride away. And I know that very soon the slow unstoppable awkward wheel of time will start to dull the colours of the last year within me. It's new now but in mere weeks it will be stonewashed and faded.
But I hope it'll be comfortable and only slip down a little instead of completely away, into my subconscious, where all these things that I've done will remain changing in some small way the actions and reactions of that cotton wrapped child that pops into my head all over the world.
The only question that remains is: Now What?