Geographical Purgatory

There was turbulence on the flight. It woke me up. My eyes were barely open as I reached across and grabbed the third little travelers arm.

“Are you okay – are you scared?”

“No – I like it” he grinned.

“Ask Annie if she’s scared”

He leaned over and lifted an earphone from his sister’s ear. “Are you scared? Do you want me to hold your hand”

She looked at him like he’d just told her he’d found out he’d contracted the ebola virus.

“I think she’s fine” he whispered, and I went back to sleep.

In the midst of the turbulence I dreamt that we landed. It was like falling asleep in front of the television and dreaming that Letterman had popped by to tell you the top 10.

I woke confused. Hadn’t we landed? Why were we still flying?

And then I realized exactly what had happened.

We’d crashed, we were actually dead. It was just like an episode of Lost.

We were in purgatory.

I spent five minutes this morning looking for the tall glasses. My eyes had that familiar burn, the jet lag burn.

“Where did your father put the tall glasses while we were away?”

The second little traveler ignored me as she wandered by.

I sighed out loud.

“This is ridiculous, why would he suddenly decide to move the glasses?”

And then it clicked mid sentence “they were here yesterd….”

I wasn’t here yesterday.

The tall glasses are in a different cupboard, in another house, in another country.

This will happen all week.

Geographical purgatory.

Lost. The cheese knife, the salad servers, the little white bowls.

I took an antibiotic yesterday, but I’m not actually sure when yesterday was? I think there’s been two dinners and a breakfast. Did they serve wine with lunch or was that breakfast? Did I ask for wine with my breakfast?

Within two hours of landing we were on our way to school, it was familiar but different. It’s not just the new families, it’s the old ones that you realize are no longer there. I handed over the wrong credit card at the supermarket, I was waiting for the usual questions “flybys? Sports vouchers for Schools? Pin of sign?” Instead it was a confused silence. The card was Australian “no work Madam”. I’m back to being a Madam. I’ll have to wait for my next “no worries” my next “thanks love”.

“Oh shit, what’s my pin number” I mumbled under my breath.

And then later “shit, what’s my phone number?”

I exited the car park through the entry, that happens when you’re driving on the wrong side of the road. I couldn’t remember the sign in process at school.

“What time is it?”. My watch is holding on, its yet to change, it remains in Australian time, my computer, less emotional, is in Doha. My mind is placed right in the middle. My body doesn’t care – it just wants to go to bed.

As I unpacked the groceries I asked the fourth traveler how he was feeling, was he jet lagged? Was he happy to be back?

“It doesn’t feel like we’re meant to be here just yet, maybe it will tomorrow”

And it will, because the fog will lift, and that other life, the one that keeps interrupting this one, will be a little further away.

Not forgotten, just not so close by.

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