Coming home after visiting home
Friday, 01.26.2018 - 10:37 pm.

Well, I'm back home, after visiting home. I thought about this as I was traveling, it's exhausting and sad but it's also a huge privilege, feeling you belong in more than one place and having your heart split because of that.

I flew into Manchester from Houston yesterday morning; I had a horrible flu but I managed to drag my bags and myself across the airport and into a train and into a cab and into my home. Andrew was waiting for me with a very shiny house, even the oven was squeaky clean. He's such a good man, holding up the fort while I'm away. 

Last Friday when I wrote, I had landed in Houston and it was my birthday. My stay in my Brother 1's house wasn't as enjoyable as I expected, however, because the flu struck me hard. Also, my sister-in-law was sick, too and stayed at home on Monday, and an uncle from my mom's side suddenly decided to visit on the same days as me; and another day, the cleaning lady was around. The house is pretty big so space and privacy weren't a problem, but I was hoping I'd get the house to myself at least one day, to write and listen to music out loud. 

Still, I'm not complaining. I felt a bit tense knowing about my brother and SIL's marital troubles, but besides him sleeping in his "man cave" and her in their bedroom, they acted normally around me. My niece said they had sort of fallen into that routine and were not doing much about the subject. My SIL was lovely to me, as usual, making me lemonades and giving me all kinds of medicine for the flu, most of which she was taking herself. My niece took me out to dinner one night and we ended up buying make-up at Walgreen's. My brother and I hung out at night and we laughed about silly stuff. I didn't drink, and I think neither did he; me, I was still shaken up after seeing him hammered out of his mind the week before. 

I took those five days in Houston to rest from socializing in my home country. I sort of made progress with some PhD assignments but that was about it. I wanted to write a lot, but mostly I just daydreamed a lot about the story I wrote and it winning the novel contest. The winner will be announced on January 31st. I found out who the judges are, I recognized a couple of big-shot names and no way in hell I was even considered. I hold my manuscript in high esteem and I cannot imagine someone not enjoying reading it, but hey, I wrote it. I can also see someone reading the first paragraph and tossing it aside forever with disgust. 

Oh, while in Houston I did write my column for the Latin American newspaper in London. When I submitted it, I asked a couple of very specific questions and got the same response from the editor as the first time I asked them: "I'll reply to you in detail later". Only now that I'm back in the UK and find my copy of the newspaper, one of my questions has been answered: when is the first issue of the year coming out. Answer: yesterday, which means I've submitted two columns quite in advance. That's great in the sense that I only have one more column to go, but I'm seriously considering not writing it, given the lack of communication from the editors. This is probably not a personal thing, they're sorting out a new team and whatever, but it's also very unprofessional to keep your collaborators in the dark regarding the publication's timeframes. 

Anyway. I'm back, grateful for a fulfilling trip, and trying to get my circadian rhythm back on track. Luckily I have the weekend to catch up with Andrew and some friends, before getting back to the routine.    

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