This is much delayed. Everything has been much delayed, and here’s why: ex-patriate inclinations arose, and I ducked out to the UK for about a week.
I was blessed last time I was in the UK (March 2011) to meet a couple of wonderful girls who have proven to be great transcontinental friends, and we in turn introduced each other to our respective social networks in spite of minor cultural differences such as what to call a lift/elevator and disagreement over the merits of marmite (sorry, it’s gross). But after scoring a ticket to the Deerhunter-curated installment of All Tomorrow’s Parties, I ended up in a chalet at Pontin’s—a circusy, somewhat dilapidated British version of Club Med on the south east coast of England—with five of the loveliest girls imaginable, each possessing her own facets of badassery, beauty, and sweetness. Our chalet sported four different accents (American, Londonite, Spanish-English, and Australian) and as many styles of bangs.
We meditated to Steve Reich’s orchestral therapy, bounced to Black Lips like we were in a dirty Atlantan basement, sang along to Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere” alongside Bradford Cox, and stood in delightful awe of Verity Susman’s cosmic Star Trek: The Next Generation-inspired feminist musical tome. We found our way to the front row for Deerhunter’s performance of Halcyon Digest on our final evening together, smiling at the twirling, glassy opening notes of “Earthquake.” And there is something so special about being with other lovers of music when Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place” comes on while you’re sharing ciders in an unfamiliar place.
I also spent some time in London, where I explored overgrown graveyards, urban animal sanctuaries, and—needless to say—a fair number of pubs. I wish I’d had more time there, but the time I did have was spent well.
There are still so many places on my to-go list: Iceland, Greece, Japanese forests, Norwegian fjords, Madagascar jungles. But I’ve been blessed to move around a little bit, and the more I do, the more I feel like a strange, morphing, shining human being on a big, big planet, and not just a housecat licking my fur and collecting the occasional mouse. I feel everyone I meet, every sight I see, every sky I look up at tracing my eyes, sculpting my nose, massaging my brain.
I’m moving to LA for a month and then New York in September. I don’t know what stamp each will leave on me, but I’m already imagining LA putting a little flower in my hair and New York putting a little bit of subway dirt behind my ears. I don’t know how long I’ll stay. I just want to jump in and swim, swim, swim until my legs are tired and I find my next shore.