We land in Canada; Montreal to be specific; and part ways.
No more war. What was I thinking? Fuck.
My friends pick me up at the airport on my final trip home; three heavy bags in tow. I give them pashminas from the bazaar. It’s two in the morning when we arrive at their house. We smoke. I sleep soundly on the couch.
I wake to an empty house; they’re both at work. After showering, I sit on the stoop smoking a cigarette.
The significance of the feeling of the grass between my toes was something unfathomable moments ago.
He notices each cold and individual blade of grass touching the soles of his feet.
Every car seemed to be speeding past the house. Conditioned to hover at a constant 15 kilometers per hour in his bongo or his right-hand-drive, navy blue, SUV; he’s caught off guard by the constant flow of traffic running perpendicular to the walkway leading to the house connected to the stoop on which he’s sitting.
I need a Tim Horton’s coffee and a shower.
My first shower back in the world was awkward. Since my last trip home; this is the first shower I can recall taking in a tub-sized shower stall. My body; mannerisms, actions, instincts; my sense of self and situational awareness; were completely bombarded with new sensory input that I found frightening. I found it frightening that I found it frightening. This shower belonged to 20-something female friends of mine. Every ledge, every corner was full of bottles. Every color of the spectrum was squeezed into the limited ledge-space available in their tub.
I kept knocking things over. Every turn was stressful. My elbows hit things I should have known were there. My mind was screaming, “Oh shit. Oops. Crap. Oops. OUCH. Damn it,” for the duration of the activity.
The level of anxiety I felt while completing the most basic of daily tasks foreshadowed the inevitable fall from grace that was to come.
Fall I did.
As we all must.
Until the birth of my child; the destruction of my ego was greatest gift I had ever received from the universe.
The most troubled among us are often not prepared to completely change our ways; sometimes we have to be pushed.