The early morning sun is shining on the deck outside my mother’s rear patio doors. It’s Sunday morning and all three of us are quiet, TheWife™, TheMom™, and myself. TW gazes on taps away on her phone, likely sending messages back and forth to her sister using WeChat, and TM is probably falling through the click-bait rabbit holes. I am sitting in front of my laptop, clacking at its keyboard and sipping away at my weekend morning coffee treat. It’s the same routine that we have gone through every weekend since I arrived back in June. The only difference is that in 17 hours, TW and I will be on my flight to Newold City (my new pseudonym for where I’m living–check the Cast and Errata page for a list of other pseudonyms I am using) via Guangzhou.
Of course, by the time you read this, I will have already been in the air for presumably six hours or more, flying for a total of fifteen hours and twenty minutes for the first leg.
So it’s finally here. Any sense of anxiety I had is pretty much gone, which to me is indicative that I’m ready. It’s a long list that I really don’t want to create new names for, so instead I will give a blanket, yet earnest thank you to everyone who took time out of their daily lives over the past seven weeks (SEVEN WEEKS!?!) to spend time with TheWife™ and I.
I know, given our penchant for vagabonding, that being our nearest and dearest requires extra effort and while maybe not heartbreak, a certain sense of melancholy every time we show up and then leave again. This is not lost on us, and for these efforts, I am truly grateful.
I was out with Lyle (see Cast) yesterday, discussing this very topic. And while it sucks being away from each other, it is also demonstrative of the strength of the bonds that have developed between us. During college, after we completed the taping of our last class project, I was feeling a little down knowing that this may be the last time I would see these people as we were now free to go out into the world. I expressed these thoughts to a classmate of mine. He had a different perspective which has carried with me ever since. He said, “Andy, those who really truly matter will always continue to be in contact with you.” He was right, of course. And to me, these people who have been with me over these past 15-20 years are my family. Whether biological or not, these bonds are far more important to me than any blood that runs through our veins.
Thank you, with all the love and appreciation that you rightfully deserve.
With that, I think it’s time to cap off this chapter. For that matter, I think I’ll leave this as a cliffhanger for my first book. Book Two: Version 2.0 begins…