July 18th, 1991

July 18th, 1991

Night flight from DTW – LHR

I’ve heard it said how important it is to know what you want but that it’s more important to know what you don’t and I can say, without a doubt, that I don’t want to live in America. In the big scheme of things, I probably shouldn’t proclaim such after only a short stay in Massachusetts and less than twenty-four hours in Detroit, but that’s really how I feel right now.

I debated over ringing William but after too much wine with my crew, I caved in and found myself dialing the number that (for whatever reason) I can’t seem to commit to memory. After a few minutes, I blurted, “I can’t see myself living there!” which I expected to throw him for a loop but all he said was, “We can figure it out.”

What I failed to tell him is that I spent the most incredible weekend with Ben but I did tell him the ring he (William, not Ben!) bought me is back in its box, stuffed in my dresser drawer. He actually laughed, which I found quite confusing. After that, we talked easily about all sorts then all of a sudden, he said he needed to go to bed.

“Oh, ehm, ok,” I stuttered.

“I love you,” he said, leaving me feeling more confused than ever.

 

July 15th 1991

July 15th, 1991

At home, England

Since Ben left this afternoon, I’ve been replaying the weekend in my mind:

“Thanks for everything,” he said, tossing the last of his things into his bag. “I really don’t want to leave.”

“I don’t want you to, either but I believe Hong Kong is calling.”

“This time tomorrow,” he sighed, “I’ll be in Honkers and you’ll be halfway to Detroit.”

“Don’t remind me,” I laughed, as he moved towards me. Cupping my face in his hands he said, “Thank you for making my twenty-fifth birthday so spectacular. I loved every second with you.”

“No problem,” I croaked. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“Did you?”

“I think you know the answer to that,” I said, pulling away, if only to stop the tears in their tracks.

I need to ring Pamsy. Hopefully she’ll forgive me for being a day late.

 

July 13th, 1991

July 13th, 1991

At home, England

 

I picked up the phone to Pamsy. “Soooo, was it great? How’s the flat? Fill me in!”

“It was nice.”

Nice? You don’t sound very enthusiastic, are you just tired?”

“No. I’m a little sad.”

“To be home?”

“To be, shit, I don’t know-”

“What happened?”

“Nothing really, I mean, it was pleasant and we spent a lot of time together and the place is really sweet-”

“But?”

“I just can’t see myself living there.”

“But what about William? Did you enjoy being with him?”

“I don’t think we’re compatible.”

“At all? You said he was quiet, maybe he’s just shy?”

“I think so but aside from that, he doesn’t like going out much.”

“That’s odd.”

“I don’t know if he just gets stressed from his job, you know how some people are really into their work and take it home with them?”

“Unlike us,” she laughed. “You have to keep in mind how unusual our jobs are, I mean who else do you know who gets paid to fly around the world? Perhaps the normalcy of what you just experienced was all too much at once?”

“I didn’t think of it that way but you could be right. Maybe that’s why I was bored.”

“It doesn’t mean the two of you can’t find somewhere livelier to live, right?”

I sighed a deep sigh. “I really don’t know, Pamsy. I just don’t see myself living a life like that.”

“Did you tell William?”

“No, not yet.”

“Sounds like you have a lot to think about, I’m so sorry. I imagine it’ll be a quiet night for you?”

“Actually no, “I said, wondering if I should continue.

“Oh, are you going out?”

“I might be. Ehm, Ben is coming over.”

“Noooooooooooo-”

“Yeeeeesss,” I said, glancing at the clock for the umpteenth time.

“What am I going to do with you! I thought he was still with Mandy Pandy.”

“I don’t know, we didn’t get that far on the phone.”

“You better ring me first thing tomorrow with every and I mean every detail but do it before half nine, that’s when I have to leave.”

“That’s a bit early.”

“Well, tonight, after you don your long, flowing, flannel nightie, you know, the one with the ruffled neckline and long sleeves, brush and floss your teeth, climb into bed and before you shut off the light, reach over and set the alarm, then crawl under the duvet for a long-”

“A long what?” I managed, through giggles.

“You know,” she chuckled. “A long, deep, satisfying…sleep!”

 

July 12th, 1991

July 12th, 1991

Flight from BOS – LHR, as a passenger

Heading home after spending ten days with William, which meant I was in America over “the fourth,” as they refer to Independence Day. Having never celebrated such, I was more than keen to go all out and do whatever it is they do but William had a migraine and said he didn’t feel like “fighting the traffic.”

The flat William rented is quite lovely. There’s a little balcony off the living room that overlooks the harbour, the whimsical view of which inspired me to write a couple of short stories about the sea and such. On the days William was at work, I strolled down to the pier and watched the fishing boats pull up, surprised by the amount of work it took to offload the huge containers.

There’s a twice daily boat cruise that sails through the Cape Cod Canal, which, according to the little pamphlet, was built in 1914 (first I’d heard of it!) I spoke to several people on the pier who said the trip was worth doing but I never got around to it.

The town itself is quaint, with nothing more than a pizza joint, a “convenience store,” (more like inconvenience as they had nothing I was looking for!) and a post office. Oh, there’s also a wooden shack type of place that sells fried seafood but apparently, it’s only open during “the season,” which William said is between, “Memorial Day and Labor Day.” Seriously, it’s like another language! Memorial Day is in May, which is when the tourists start showing up and Labor Day, “when they leave,” is, I think he said the first week of September. I’m not sure what happens after “the tourists” leave, it didn’t exactly seem busy to me but William insisted the place was “overrun with New Yorkers this time of year.”

As picturesque as it is, I shan’t be returning.

 

June 24th, 1991

June 24th, 1991
At Pamsy’s, Sussex, England

As much as I love going out on the town, my favourite part of the night starts the minute Pamsy and I get in the car (having a friend who’s allergic to alcohol has its benefits!) where
we immediately begin dissecting every, word, outfit, mannerism and gesture of those we spent the evening with!

None too pleased with her ex, Sammy’s behavior (on her birthday no less!) flaunting his new girlfriend, I felt the need to cheer Pamsy up.
“You ok?”
“I s’pose,” Pamsy sighed but I could tell she wasn’t.
“I think Sammy’s gained weight, don’t you?”
“Now you mention it, yes, he has,” she said, perking up a little.
“And what did you think of Caroline’s dress?”
“It was a bit snug.”
“Snug?” I snorted. “You could practically see her ovaries!”
Pamsy cracked up.
Mission accomplished.

 

June 21st, 1991

June 21st, 1991

Night flight from SFO – LHR

Homeward bound after a great time in San Fran, with a particularly nice crew.

Being in America made me think about living there and how I think I would fit into such a different lifestyle. The East and West Coast are like two different countries and given the choice, I’d live on the West Coast (and no, I’m not harping on about LA!) The pace is more to my liking and the people seem a lot more laid back. On the East, they seem more uptight and not as friendly but it’s not like I’ve lived in either place so I could be completely wrong.

If things work out with William, which I have to say, at the moment, doesn’t seem likely. I mean I haven’t even talked to him since I left Antigua, nor have I received anything from him in the post, so as usual I’m probably getting ahead of myself butin the event that something let’s say, transpires(ha!) then it seems with his work at the moment we’d be based on the East Coast. Hmmmm, lots to think and talk about, all of which I’ll be doing tomorrow with Pamsy.

I hope, unlike yours truly, she’s getting a good night’s sleep!

 

June 11th, 1991

June 11th, 1991

At home, England

“I really don’t think it’s a big deal,” said Pamsy on the phone. “What’s so awful about it?”

“I just don’t like it!”

“Well you can’t change it.”

“I know,” I sighed. “But-”

“But what?”

“I don’t know how my mum and dad will react.”

“I think they’ll be fine. Our parents aren’t as old fashioned as we think they are and I think as long as you’re happy, they’ll be ok with it.”

“I hope you’re right.”

“Of course I am,” she chuckled. “Besides, you’ll feel better after you discuss it with William.”

“Hopefully, but I don’t know when that’ll be. He’s on an intensive training course then right after it finishes, they’re sending him out to sea. Argh, I’m so upset.”

“Listen, I’m sorry you’re upset but try and put it in perspective. It’s not like he has five kids or something!”

I opened my mouth to speak and burst into tears.

“Oh don’t cry, everything’s going to be fine. You love him and he loves you and I’m sure, given what Scott told you, it’s been really difficult for William.”

“I know,” I sniffed, “But I just wanted-”

“Everything to be perfect?”

“Uh-huh.”

“It doesn’t work like that, Karen, you know that. Love stuff is never easy.”
“I just wish,” I croaked, “he’d told me he was married before.”

 

 

June 10th, 1991

June 10th, 1991

Flight from ANU – LHR

The flight home feels much longer than the one over, possibly due to the fact I was exhausted from more or less walking from Bangkok to London before boarding yet another flight!

I’m leaving the island with what I can only describe as disappointment and a feeling of despondency. After last night’s tiff, I sensed a change in William I didn’t like, in the way he became withdrawn and began focusing heavily on packing, fretting over all sorts of what I felt to be insignificant stuff (like checking his bag every few minutes to make sure his passport hadn’t grown legs and walked away, I mean, seriously!)

I tend to react to whatever’s in front of me so if you’re happy I’m happy and if you’re being annoying, well, you get the picture. It got to the point where I was so agitated, I went to bed, hoping William would follow because I knew the bedroom would be the perfect place to iron out the creases before he left first thing for an early flight to Boston.

However, I fell asleep and only woke up when William’s alarm shrilled. He didn’t seem at all fazed by the uncertainty of not knowing when we’ll see each other again, as witnessed by his nonchalant goodbye before he got in the taxi for the airport.

I couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and wrote for ages, after which I felt slightly better, until Scott appeared. Over breakfast on the terrace, Scott shared something with me about William he thought I already knew. He was shocked when I told him this was the first I’d heard of it and apologized profusely, asking me to promise not to bring it up with William.

There’s no way I’ll be able to keep my mouth shut and not confront William but goodness knows when I’ll get the opportunity to do that, so until then, I’m going to think seriously about where I want our relationship to go.

 

 

June 9th, 1991

June 9th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

There are people who need no excuse to celebrate and there are people who never feel the need to commemorate any type of milestone and I’m getting the impression William is the latter!

Take tonight, for instance, William’s last night on the island before he returns to the States tomorrow, after a two year secondment here.  The people he’s come to know were throwing a farewell party at our favourite nightclub (where we first met!) but an hour before we were due to leave, he said he didn’t want to go.

“Why not?” I asked, thinking he might be feeling poorly.

“I don’t want to go.”

“Are you ill?”

He shook his head.

“You can’t just not show up, unless of course you’re ill, which clearly you’re not!”

“I’m not going,” he sulked.

“That’s not fair to everyone who took the time to organize it, besides, they all want to say bye to you.”

“I don’t like that kinda thing.”

“Well,” I huffed. “It’s too late now, we have to go!”

“You can go,” he stated. “I’m not going.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, I can’t go without you.”

He looked at me as though I were speaking a different language, reminding me of Nana, who told me on more than one occasion she didn’t like crowds or being the centre of attention.

“Fair enough,” I said, not wishing to upset him further. “But you should at least call and let them know.”

“Can you do it?”

“Absolutely not!” My tone was in keeping with my level of frustration.

I don’t mind missing a party but I’ll never be the one making the call.

 

 

June 8th, 1991

June 8th, 1991

Scott’s House, Antigua

My suitcase still hasn’t appeared (lost in London?) which typically, would be a nightmare, but getting reacquainted with William hasn’t required much in the way of clothing so it’s all good!