Gone Back Through That Door

Like Billy Pilgrim, I am unstuck in time again.

As I write this, I’m lying in a bed in an AirBnB in Scotland, and it’s 10:56pm; I’m also just off the phone with Chloe who’s on the East Coast of the US, and it’s four hours earlier for her — until the clocks go back in the US this weekend (as I write), the usual time differences are lessened by an hour — and also thinking about everyone else back home, who is three hours in the past from that. At the same time, I feel curiously divorced from the place where I actually am; I had a sudden moment of realization that I am in the same time period as my sisters, which I know is clearly true because I spent the evening with them, and yet, almost feels impossible because it’s so rare. In a very genuine sense, I’m not sure what time it is.

A lot of this comes from the fact that this UK trip has been near-constant motion for me so far, something underscored by the fact that, this morning, I wasn’t just in another city, I was technically in another country — England, vs. Scotland — and it took me a coach (that broke down, and had to be replaced), a flight, and then an additional car ride to get where I currently am. I started my journey at 7am (having woken up at 4am, thanks to an errant text from my US healthcare provider), and didn’t arrive anywhere for the next eight hours, somehow. That’s what every day has felt like for the last… nine days? Maybe before that, even, before I even left Portland…?

It’s Friday night as I’m writing this, and I’m grateful for the fact that I don’t have to work and/or go anywhere for the next few days; I’m not working or traveling until Tuesday, so aside from day trips to Glasgow and spending time with family, I have no plans. That last part, the not having to be anywhere part, feels necessary to a degree which feels almost melodramatic to confess; as workaholic as I am, I had to tell my manager this week that I was overloaded and overstressed, and burned out as a result. I didn’t mean it in any sense that required him to do anything, but it felt important to just say it and leave the truth out there. This trip has been filled with many good, fun things; it’s also just been filled, and it’s time to take a break before I break.

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