Nervous energy. Everywhere. Right down to my fingertips. Tomorrow morning I will get on a plane in Frankfurt, and tomorrow afternoon I will get off of a plane in New Jersey. When I think about it even just a little I am still completely astounded by the concept of flying. Every single time.
It has been two years since I last set foot in the U.S.of.A., and I have a poll running: who will be the one with the worst case of culture shock? I’m betting on myself. It’ll be a close win, though, as the Beard has never set one single toe there.
I remember the details, and I explain them to others. “You’re gonna have a hell of a time finding rolling tobacco and papers,” I say. “The beds in America have one big blanket instead of two. And the pillows are rectangular not square,” I say, a side note. “But there’s not going to be any public transportation there,” I explain. But what I don’t really remember is how I feel in America, or what it’s like to speak English every day of the week. The things there will be familiar, yet far-off, intimate memories yet still not daily normalities.
The trip looks something like this: New Jersey, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Nebraska, Maryland, New York, and finally, back to the arm pit of the earth to fly home again at the end of October. Two months! Two! And yet when I start to list off all of the things we’ll do and all of the places we’ll see, it starts sounding like far too little time.
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