A Thousand Mile Journey

begins with a 30 mile jog…

My legs aching like they’d been caught in a trash compacter, I wasn’t able to sleep on the flight across the ocean. Then, when we got to Heathrow, we sat on the tarmac within sight of the gate for 45 minutes. (that’s not an exaggeration)

When I finally got through the gate, I got to passport control, and the line stretched about a hundred yards back towards the gate. I stood behind the last guy in line, who I nosily surmised held a Ugandan passport. Some guy pushed up behind me to close that I had to turn sideways to stay in line. This guy started a 40 minute chess game with me, whereupon every time the line moved forward, he tried to position himself so that he could get by me. Yes, the line was interminably long, and didn’t seem to be moving at all, and yes, I understand that no one wants to wait one second longer than necessary, but he wasn’t going to shorten his wait at my expense. Maybe on any other day, at any other time, I would have just let it pass and let him have his 30 second advantage, but I was just Not In The Mood.

I had to step on the cuff of his baggy trousers to keep him from slipping past me when someone finally called “Next!” When he staggered and nearly spun completely around, I slipped past him to the desk. Asshole.

So, 45 minutes on the tarmac, an hour in line at passport control, I was now two hours late to meet the rest of the band and Kim from Monotreme, and I still hadn’t gone through baggage search. I chose the “Nothing to Declare” line and walked into a room where several people were having their luggage rummaged. I held my head up and walked through like I knew what I was doing, across the room and out the door on the other side. No one said a word to me.

Finally found Kim and then we walked a million miles through Heathrow until we got out the top and met the rest of the band. I won’t bore you with any more details.

We had about an hour van ride with “Keef,” our Man With Van here in the UK, to get to Kim’s house, and we were all exhausted. I had slept about five hours in 48.

We found spots on the floor of Kim’s living room and I opened a notebook and wrote myself a note because I knew I was going to wake up completely disoriented and not knowing where I was. The note said “Patrick, Don’t Panic. You’re in the UK with Daniel and Parker. All is well.”

Then, everything went black.

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