I'm in Phoenix now, for my annual Memorial Day Weekend with my college girlfriends. Yes, that's Phoenix USA. Ian's in Oxford. Yes, that's Oxford England. I realize that it might be a little crazy to leave a 4-month-long European tour for a long weekend in Phoenix, but this is, like, the 14th or 15th year in a row that we girls have done this weekend getaway together, and *I* wasn't going to be the one to break the trend.
It was weird, though, taking off from Heathrow without Ian, after having been tied so closely for the past several weeks. I could almost feel the pull--a mixture of anxiety and excitement--tugging at my heart, as we passed up over Scotland on the way to Iceland, Greenland, and the frozen (still, thank goodness) north.
I'm so lucky--there's no one else I know with whom I could even consider spending four months on the road--no one who makes me laugh so often and so freely; no one who can diffuse my irritations so successfully (as I hope I successfully diffuse his); no one whose habits so comfortably meld with mine. It never once occurred to him to ask that I not take this trip, leaving him, the more social one, alone in a youth hostel with a bunch of strangers on this holiday weekend; it never once occurred to him to even suggest that it wasn't the best possible thing for me to do for both of us. I often find myself looking at him sideways as we tramp along, awed at my good fortune.
Regardless of our perfection as mates, it's useful sometimes to have separate experiences (helps with dinnertime conversation), and we've both been looking forward to this weekend of individual pursuits.
As our plane turned back south at Edmonton, I realized that the pain of our strange-feeling separation had drifted away and I was only looking forward to seeing my dear friends. But I'll be glad to be back with Ian on Tuesday.