Returning to and Older place

The other night, I came up with a brilliant blog-post. It was the best idea I’d had yet. I was already typing it in my head and I knew it was going to rock.

Then I forgot it.

So instead, I’m going to make a slight revisit to the past by posting something I wrote years and years ago. I used to be quite the busy bee writing back in the day. I know that is hard to believe, what with my recent lapse into “What? I have a blog? You want me to post something on it?” but there was once a time when I would write as many as 2 poems a week, maybe 3 songs a month, the scattered short-story and the three or so begun and as of yet unfinished fantasy-novels. This is nothing of that sort. This is what I stumbled upon when finding my old notebooks while looking for… a secret. So, straight from the brain of 17-or-so-year-old Amki, here’s my take on a flight from Sweden to the U.K. I would just like to note that a) yes, my English had a lot left to desire, still does and b) this was my first return to the U.K since I was 13, and I had missed it something horribly. Thus the nostalgic part towards the end.

Returning to Outer Space

It started at the airport already. A middle-aged man of some Mediterranean origin, a loose white shirt and a slight limp, but it was his expression that captured the most, somewhere between glad  excitement and anxious pain. My handbag continued losing pearls and I couldn’t realise I was really going. My bag was searched because of the nutritional supplements.

“Have you brought any coffee with you?” the security staff-member asked with a mix of busy and disinterested. “No, I don’t drink coffee.” (Side-note; things have changed. I am big on coffee nowadays). “Then we really must have a look” she said, watching as I unlocked the useless lock with the miniature keys on the “chicken little” key-ring, with eyes that bulge if you squeeze it.

Passport control nr. 1. “Going to London?” “Yes”. Where else? Naturally, I might have checked into the wrong flight. How could any human as concerned as me about anything not working according to plan make such a mistake? Going flying is really stressful, never do you hold on as tight to your handbag or extra-check the time as often as within those moving halls. How can time move slower just because you want to be somewhere else? The human mind really manipulates its surroundings. I do my usual combination of sideways glances and full-on stares, dealing them out in a fair flow over my to-be fellow passengers.

Passport control nr. 2. Fat stewardess with shrill voice and her whole nature screaming for human contact. Small-talk before boarding, and then seating second next to front. Three fruit gums and then we’re up, accelerating fast but taking longer to lift than I expected. English stewardesses, one steward, poor bloke had to run through the emergency routine. Cars shrink until they’re nothing more than specks, creeping turtle-like down the grey veins of Sweden.

Eventually, the clouds turn from bumpy gravel (stolen out of Paintshop’s flood-fill patterns) into soy whipping-cream, and reach higher altitudes along with us. Naturally, I wanted sparkling water. Obviously, just one bottle left on the plane. And of course, it sprays in large wet drops over my jeans and coat. Well, just a little of it. Land turns to sea, which turns to land full of wind power generators, (Side-note; if Gerard reads this, I’m sorry I mentioned that detail. If Tilda does, I’m glad) which turns into sea with horse-shoe shaped reefs and long, thin fingers of islands. The sun reflects in the wing behind me, and a fragile half-moon makes its way up front. This is heaven. Literally speaking.

The clouds have turned into a sturdy pattern of Greek yoghurt (not out of Paintshop) and at least one of the stewardesses has turned out to be of the Polish nationality – pointy nose, over-plucked eyebrows and heavy accent. “You wanted tickets?” Cards moving over the seats in an attempt to pay the best way. I enjoy my “fruit-bar” – chocolate covered hazelnut-paste, only fruit it contains are raisins, goodness, what can people say in order to sell a product? – and watch the ice-crystals that are spread lazily across my window. They’re taunting the sun. “Can’t melt us up here, can ya?” The cream clouds throw shadows on the monotonous yoghurt-land below. And we’re up here with the cream, floating atop the yoghurt as always.

Amsterdam soon. Holland from above is just like any European country. Modern cities like mazes when seen from the air. So modern that the buildings are ordered. It’s a shame to see, a city without history isn’t a city at all. A glint of gold in the flat ground when the sun hits a small lake or a large area covered with glass. Though perspectives change, you still turn the pictures around so they make sense, fit them in with what you’re used to on the ground. Sometimes we hit valleys and turbulence, then the plane shakes like a truck and your head spins. I don’t think your thoughts have and easy time following the rest of your head when you jump several metres at a time, at the speed we’re keeping. The clouds imitate the land beneath them; the yoghurt-clouds open up in cracks like rivers, give way to smooth cloud lakes and even and island out there in the white nothingness. Or maybe it’s the land beneath that imitates the clouds?

The landing was normal, the ground from the plane looking like a quilt of rich, red earth and gentle greens, cut through by tennis courts and suddenly a green spiral created by some overambitious farmer. Walking along the ever long grey carpet of  Stanstead airport, I somehow still couldn’t realise I’d really made it. What I wanted the most was to touch a tree or the ground outside, something firm that belonged to the land, something that I could relate to ( I did later on, when in London). (Side-note; I had really missed England.) So we took the train, and I got to watch a couple of young people that were on completely different wavelengths, the girl talked and talked, the man-boy watched her intently, nodded and looked out of the window whenever the girl stopped talking, too nervous and disconcerted to look at her in the silence. My fingers were constantly hefted to the handbag when we entered the subway. Very large parts of my life are buried in the folds of its newly sewn seams, and losing it is a thing I’m not going to do. One instantly notices how curious people get when they hear you’re not from England, but no-one dares to ask.

Then we got to the apartment, went a couple of places, went a couple of more places and went home. But it was the journey that mattered. The beautiful journey.

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3 thoughts on “Returning to and Older place

  1. You wrote that at 17? And English is your second language!

    You never cease to amaze me. How you could ever begin comparing my writing to yours is… I just… You are doing yourself such a great disservice to compare words like that to those of a common storyteller like myself.

    Yes… It’s a compliment, and you’re just gonna have to deal with it.

  2. Amki! Amki Amki Amki! Hiii! I miss you, I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch of late, I has no internetz and extremely limited access, and my schedule be insanity. No excuse really, but life has been overwhelmingly hectic. I still have the book in my keeping but I’ll be sending it off to you first thing tomorrow, along with some little belated birthday presents for your lovely self 🙂 I love and miss you. Sometime soon I might have to find an international calling card so I can hear your sweet purr-ful voice again! Hope all is well.

    1. I have a webcam! Does Sarah have one, do you know? We should get the girls-night on the go!!! I’ve missed you guys so much, it’s so great to hear from you 🙂 I understand when life gets hectic though. I hope we can cam it out together and get all silly! Love love love and hugs! ❤

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