INDIANAPOLIS--The night before I left I had about the closest to a panic attack as I have ever had no matter what that %$#&^^%$%@##@ Kathy says happened before she found out my diaphram was paralyzed by a bad dose of Imodium that one night in Honduras. But this time I was leaving the woman I moved across the ocean (Atlantic) for and I was coming back to a small Ohio town that nothing much had changed in except I was no longer a part of the lives within that town.
We went to bed and the alarm went off a few hours later. I got right up and showered and dressed and Lena walked me to the station. We said goodbye for now and I got on my train to Copenhagen and we took pictures of each other through the window and the train began to move and she ran alongside as long as she could for a hundred feet or so and then she was gone.
And then I was in the airport away from my Scandinavian life until Lena's cousin and Japanese fiancee found me on their way to the Canary Islands and we had a little talk. I bowed to her father in his wheelchair and to his wife who pushed him. And I got on my plane to Frankfurt. And then my plane to Dulles and going through customs was routine and, mainly incedentally, I was glad I was an American because it made everything easier. I love being an American for a lot of other reasons but at that moment it was mostly about getting in the correct line above the smell of tired carpet.
And another plane and I barely made that and it was one of those small and frightening jets that one is always particularly pleased to have survived and I made it, almost running, like OJ Simpson except I only knocked down a nun but cut no white bitches, but my bag didn't make it with me.
Dr. K. was there and picked me up. Cleveland. And it was far colder than Skåne and the snow was deep. I find it difficult to write all the details. There was an obese idiot trying to keep us from getting out of the parking garage. We went to a bar and ate chicken wings and the owner couldn't understand that I wasn't actually Swedish so we got a lot of free drinks. We sleapt in a sort of fantasy single guy high-rise condo because the owner had got himself all entangled with an evil and rather stupid stripper who was raping him of his self-worth and dignity. And the next morning Dr. K drove me to the airport where I collected my bag and we got a McGriddle and a McMuffin at the holy McDonalds and we took the familiar highway back to what was no longer my home.