can you manage? arrival at hawthorne house

07/26/2009

the cab driver stopped at 15f, “you’re looking for 15A?”
“yes, please.”
“well, this is 15f, it must be right round ere somewhere. let’s pop out and see.”
between a small brick wall and more stately brick column he notices a gravel drive between #s 15f and 19.
“well, it’s most certainly down there a bit,” he said as he pointed down the gravel path.
pseudo-confidently and sleep deprived i replied, “ok, yes, it probably is.”
he unloaded my things and i realized i had no idea what to tip.
“sir, you’re my first cab in england, how much is a proper tip?”
“ah, well miss, anything you wish. some people a pence, some a pound, i’d just say it’s your first day, so anything you like, no worries at all.”
i gave him a pound.
“thank you much, tell you what, let me check one more time…” as he ran down the gravel path and called back, “yes, next is 15e, 15a must be just down a bit further.”
we unloaded my two fifty pound rolling bags and i put on my backpack and started clumsily navigating. rolling duffels and suitcases are not made for gravel paths.

“can you manage?”  he called out from the street.

i stopped in my tracks, paused and thought for a moment.

my newly acquainted surroundings dropped away and for the next five seconds a sandstorm filled my mind:  images and words.  the flurry of highs and lows of the past two years.  the swirling hopes and fears for the next few months.

i smiled.  jessica, he’s just referring to your luggage.

“yes, i can manage.”

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