I thought this would happen after two weeks, but it's happened at almost four. A sadness has descended upon me and it's working its way into almost everything. I'm sure it will pass. I'll be pleased when I can say it's passed.
Christmas is beginning to unfold in Frank's house. They went shopping today and returned with the requisite amount of fruit, nuts, chocolate biscuits. There are even dates, a festive food upon which my father insisted and something I refused to eat as a child. It is like my childhood here, but with less people and more mountains. There's a tree and cards hung from string on the walls. I have a piece of tinsel in my room, wrapped around the mirror and instantly transforming this space into a drag queen's dressing room. It is a large example of tinsel, and there is a small silver Christmas tree seemingly constructed from barbed wire. The house is festive with a capital F.
I am missing everyone I knew in America. If you are someone I knew in America, then I'm missing you. I suddenly feel a long way from everything, even though that isn't true. I'm close to England and I'm with my brother, but sadness makes a nonsense of things doesn't it. I want Sarah and I want my kids and I want a strange Stephen Hawking universe where everyone is in the same place at the same time. For some reason, being so close to my family makes me feel farther from them, and IM with Sarah seems like a cheap trick performed by a technological charlatan.
I have done a lot recently -- too much to document. I had some milk from a nearby cow, boiled as a precaution by a woman who hires skis. I ate lunch in a ski lodge that used to belong to a bank, was once a garrison for soldiers and now belongs to an Englishman who knows how to make a very good cottage pie. I climbed to the place where expert paraglider pilots launch themselves into air 3000 feet above a lake and my buttocks clenched at the thought that I have promised myself to do that some day. I had dinner in an apartment near Ljubljana. I have found new routes for Tyson's walk and I have learned what Slovenians think of the real Slovenia, the everyday working functioning bureaucratic Slovenia. I have been busy.
And now the sadness that I knew would come has dropped on me and made everything harder. Let's get Christmas out of the way and face the new year with hope and plans and excitement. Things will get better. This is the time of year when we hang lights on an evergreen tree to remind us that not everything withers, and we can light up the darkness if we chose to do so.
[ps...Have you tried the Armchair Detective Challenge yet?]
Slovenia, writing, other things