Saturday, April 24, 2010

From travelogue to introspection

I never promised you a travelogue. Hell, if you need travel advice, just call me and I'll map out your next trip. Today the travelogue I've created here on this blog descends (or ascends) to introspection. I am mere days away from returning home. Indulge me.

If you haven't yet seen the stage play or movie 'Shirley Valentine,' it's high time you did. Don't expect a travelogue - it's more a journey of self discovery - much like this one. There is a point in the story, where Shirley questions the point of returning home to her usual life of nothingness. I'm having that experience today. When I told my boss I was going to do this - he asked me if I would ever come back. "You have my hostage," I said.... for I left behind my Daisy and my house and my lovely friends. Ransom, booty, my only treasures... but it was enough to mollify him into knowing I would return to my job. Today, as I sit in the moonlight of my terrace eating mama's roasted artichokes, drinking her inestimable barrel wine... I wonder if it is enough.

I am tempted, as Shirley was, to bolt when I get to the airport. To throw myself on my own Kostas, demand a job in the taverna and just...... not go home.

"Who would miss me?" wonders Shirley - "really, who would notice if I didn't come back." I ask myself those same questions tonight.

Oh, of course I'll go back. I am, even though a woman, a man of my word.... one of my quirks is that I uphold my own sense of Victorian principles of being a gentleman - I am an honourable (wo)man of my word. For without honour we really have nothing. I will deliver my promise and sort out my own life once my obligations are met.

But tonight.... tonight..... the moon lowers over the portara... the stars are a bowl of magic inside a sapphire sky... and early tomorrow morning... I will have my Shirley Valentine moment, when I kiss Naxos goodbye and board that plane to Athens.

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