End as beginning…

I won’t focus on why I haven’t posted recently. I am certain that I will get into all that in the coming days. Suffice it to say that I am in a place where I am once again ready to face TRUE LIFE. ‘Nuff said for now, eh?

Today, I want to relive one moment…one that will forever live, indellible, in my memory.

10:30 pm, Saturday, September 25. 2004, of course.

My plane got in about 30 minutes earlier, and Action Jackson, being the gentleman that he is, offered to pick me up at the airport. I was happy that I didn’t have to take a cab, but I was feeling a little sorry for myself, too. I was kinda hoping that Lynn and the kids would have been there to greet me. You know, the big welcome home thing and all.

As the escalator eased toward the baggage claim, I almost thought that I would get that surprise. I casually craned my neck (the art of doing so and yet looking simply like you’re trying to stretch. I’m certain it doesn’t work, but humor me, huh?), but nothing. And when I finally reached the bottom, my heart sank even a bit further.

Oh, well, eh? It was, after all, 10 pm. I know Lynn was bushed. It was, in fact, one of the reasons why she hadn’t met me in New York upon the picture’s wrap, a circumstance that still had me smarting.

But I brightened a little when I saw Jack. It was, as he would say, all good. We gave each other a quick hug. I hefted my junk into the back seat, and we took off.

As we drove home, we didn’t talk much. I simply watched as the landscape–MY landscape–drifted past me. Hello Borders! Hello Best Buy! Hello my very own Starbucks! Hello there, you broken down ole building and loan! (Oops! Wong story..!) Hi there, Holiday gas station..! As we turned off the freeway, I was finally relieved for the lack of any pomp and circumstance regarding my homecoming. Even as I greeted each of my favorite landmarks, my eyes transformed more and more into little, puffy slits. I was sinking further and further by the minute. Yeah…this was a good thing.

We pulled into the driveway, and the house was thankfully dark. It was now about half past. Everyone was asleep, and all I had to do was contend with Elvis (who was about to Fu-rrrreeeeek!). Jack stopped the car and asked me whether I was going to take in my bags right away–he wanted to get going. I told him I just needed a moment. I wanted to get through my Elvis homecoming, then I would be prepared to schlep my crap.

I got in the house, and Elvis was surprisingly calm. I mean, don’t get me wrong…he basically attacked me with hugs and kisses. I think, though, he was a little stunned that I was there. I’m certain he wrote me off as dead. Hell, maybe he thought I was a ghost…who knows?

I peeked into the dining room as I petted Elvis, and the place was utterly empty. Yeah…in a minute I would trudge upstairs and slip in beside Lynn and fall fast asleep. I guess that was just fine with m-

“SURPRISE!!!!!!!”

All of a sudden, on go the dining room lights. It was my family, screaming at the top of their lungs. And in the next instant, I was on the business end of a monkey pile of hugs and kisses and congratulations. Action Jackson, who was obviously a partner in crime, sat back with a smug smile plastered across his face. Oh yeah…and he took pictures.

Wow… It rates up there with the coolest moments in my entire life.

I did it.

I made it.

And I made it home again.

…And my life will forever be changed.

I am in the processing of uploading pix from the production. Hopefully, by the end of the week… Then again, you know me. And I think I’m ready to start talking about the experience, now that it’s had a chance to percolate a little.

I don’t believe, by the way, that I am going to continue through with the RUNAWAY BOYS thread I created back at the beginning of September. Or maybe I will. Who knows? I believe that the photo album I’m creating will actually work best toward telling and finishing that story.

That said, maybe I’ll just start living again. You know, my TRUE LIFE…

Later…

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