- After numerous delays, I arrived at the San Francisco airport to see my friend Miss ML, visiting from China. We spent the day gallavanting around the city, doing some shopping, some dining, and some much needed catching up. There is definitely a temptation to just pack up and move to Shanghai for a few months, but that would be rather rash.
- Seeing my half-sisters whom I had not seen since they were approximately 1 and 4 years old. It is weird to think that my existence has probably had little to no effect on their lives and who they are today. It is weird to think that we have perhaps 1/2 the same genes, but don't know each other at all.
- Meeting my half-brother for the first time. He's 7. I guess it's the mild autism that made our bonding pretty shallow, but apparently the fact that he chose to emulate me on occasion meant that he thought pretty highly of me. And hey - whoa - I have a brother.
- Bonding with my step-mom, whom I once considered to be evil. You know, step-mothers have a bad reputation anyway. We enjoyed many a mimosa and some other beverages that loosen one up and encourage friendly discourse.
- Seeing my grandma, snacking on some ginger snaps (so nostalgic), and feeling like things are at least somewhat ok.
- On the last day in town, having a real conversation with the dad, though brief. I sort of set things up to not be too talkative when my rules of engagement included "we are not to rehash the past" and "we are not to speak of my mom." We also had some moments here and there when we realized we had similarities, it was sort of tender.
- For Christmas, getting a coach coin purse and an iPod touch. Oh, welcome technology. This very moment listening to music courtesy of Mr. TB. More on that another time.
Remember Mr. MM? I was fairly enamored with him, and when he called me out of the blue just before thanksgiving and asked such poignant questions as, "are you still just as beautiful?" I was really missing what we had. I contacted him when I was working out the details for the trip and we made a deal to hang out during my 8ish hour layover in Seattle, where he's been hanging his hat lately.
Mr. MM picked me up at the airport and I hopped into the giant Alaska-mobile, which was a beat up old pickup with a camper on the back. We started catching up immediately and very soon stumbled across the conversation of him seeing someone. There is a huge possibility, almost an inevitability that had I known he was seeing someone, I would not have suggested we spend the hours between 11:30pm and 5:00am together. No choice at that point, I suppose. We went to The Whisky Bar in downtown Seattle where I was introduced to drinking both scotch and bourbon with nothing but a few ice cubes. I had served whiskey and scotch this way before, but had generally maintain that scotch smells (and likely tastes) much like a used band-aid. I am determined/stubborn so I drank that shit anyway. Actually, I passed the Laphroig back to Mr. MM and just sipped on my one shot of Basil Hayden's. We were having fun, even despite the brief conversation which included Mr. MM implying that I am irrational. We later went to the Five-Point and had a bit to eat and another drink, talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company. While spending some time just outside the 5-point we were chain smoking cigarettes and talking about relationships, he said he wants to have children. Now. At this age. With this girlfriend. And, though it gives me away for having a preference for dating older men, he told me that in 12 years, I'd want the same. To be honest, the conversation was really good because - hey - I'm definitely not ready to have babies right now and he is at an age when baby-having is pretty reasonable and best not put off much longer. I'm glad he's found a future baby-mama. Once we started to feel the cold seeping under our nigh-impervious Alaskan skin, we walked back to the beast of a vehicle and headed out to West Seattle, where the hat hangs, and drank a little more beer and crashed for an hour before I was returned to the airport to finish my trip back to Juneau.
Another note or two related to the trip:
- I hate milk runs.
- I hate weather related delays.
- I hate overnights at airports (but the children's play area wins for place to stay).
- I hate having to spend money at airports.
- I hate being tired while traveling (and leaving my boarding pass and passport on a bench, lucky that someone flagged me down to return those valuable documents).
- I hate tourist seasons.
- I hate Wrangell.
- I hate people who think only of themselves and not of the consequences their selfishness might have on other people on the plane who want to friggin' get home and not sit in Wrangell on the plane for 2+ hours.