October 19, 2017:

Jeezes to breezes, this is different.

In your state of illness and grief the distances seemed so imposing, the lodgings so inadequate, the piercing Mediterranean cold so bone-deep. Whole days spent waiting for trains, negotiating discounts at hostels, scrounging for inexpensive food familiar enough for your inexperience to digest. Exhausted, unwell, unhappy: where so much of your strength went into the ABCs of transit-and-shelter that you frequently missed the sites, or the museums, because you couldn't drag your skinny ass out of bed, or into the back of a friendly lorry.

Today with rented Fiat and wallet bulging with platinum cards we flit across the entire width of the country in less than half a day including stops for lunch and shopping and communication with the lovely English woman whose villa on the west coast we're renting for several nights. A sunny warm day that ends with superb dinner and beautiful golden sunset at a beachside restaurant we have almost entirely to ourselves. With huge bedrooms to choose from and beers on the balcony before saying goodnight.

Of course — obviously — it goes without saying — duh — you're thirty-eight years on, you've had multiple successful careers and you can afford food and petrol and ginormous rented villas without a hearbeat's bleedin' thought. To repeat the obvious: duh.

But. Fuck me with a feather, that's the point. Have you ever had a more visceral experience of collapsing the time between epochs of your life, so that you can compare then and now as if they were side-by-side, pristinely, feature-for-feature, lick-for-lick? Oh fucking holy fuck no.

Tell me then. Who are you today, who you weren't in 1979?