For about the last month I’ve slept in cities such as Auckland, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Arthur’s Pass, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Wagga Wagga. The first time I did Wednesday, on the other side of the date line, I should have been wearing shorts. The second time, back here, I needed a coat. When I finally got home Thursday, both my car door lock and some forgotten Halloween pumpkins on my front porch were frozen solid. I wasn’t gone all that long, really, but I find myself wondering which side of the road to turn on to and why the light switches all go the wrong way. I don’t really have any idea what time it is – the clock says I yet again need to be on a plane in two hours, but my body thinks it’s just about time to go to bed. The list of places I slept is easy; the stories from the waking hours will have to come later.

When I was through US customs, or seeing an old friend in an old city of mine in an unplanned stopover, I was home but not home. Last night at WalMart, when the people in front of me at checkout bought, among other things, a ten piece barbeque tool set (when it was 18 degrees F out), a 15 pack of men’s socks, eight packages of kitty treats – with a story for the cashier about how upset the cats get when they’re out of treats – and a Chia Donkey, all with a Gold Amex, and on two receipts – because kitty treats and socks just don’t mix… I knew I was home.


This was published on 17 Dec 2005.
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