A lot had changed while I was tucked away at the Bottom of the World. Little did I know that inflation in the US had increased from 3.27% to 6.16%, largely due to the Oil Embargo (Arab members of OPEC restricting oil flow to any countries supporting Israel). The United Kingdom had officially begun a 3-day work week, due to unemployment and inflation. The Supreme Court had removed protection from the tiniest of US citizens, and the Watergate hearings began in Congress.* What on earth...
So I returned to a certain malaise, but did not realize it as I traveled northward on a Greyhound bus. One letter home described that for whatever reason, I had not had the 'privilege of a bath in four days'. Sad and tragic! In Lexington Virginia, I got off and ran to the nearest motel. Took a shower, went to sleep. I loved Lexington Virginia!
But then en route to Cincinnati a girl took the seat next to mine as I slept, and I awoke to her massaging my arm. What!? I politely moved seats and watched her warily from afar (this clearly would not have happened if she had sat there before Lexington Virginia!).
I became aware that perhaps three weeks sitting up in a bus wasn't all it was cracked up to be. I tried to remember just why I had taken a 3 week sea voyage, followed by 3 weeks on a bus, struggling homeward when I could have accomplished this feat in TWELVE HOURS (one wonders).
Suddenly, acutely, I wanted my mother again. Although I was supposedly adult and beyond childlike needs, that didn't matter to me now. Things were out of kilter, and I knew it would be alright once I saw her.
I needed that motherly spoon full of sugar to help the rest of this medicine go down.
And THAT would be delightful.
Go Greyhound! (or not..)
* 1973 info cred: http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1973.html
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/velo_denz/3083473166/">velodenz - 750,000 views</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>