America Day 36 – Maryland

You can tell we are near to the heart of bureaucracy in this country. Everybody that has sat on the other side of a counter we’ve stood at has made life as difficult as humanly possible. Those endless jousts at the counter. They somehow do get worse the closer you get to the administrative centre. Mister Enterprise was a total twerp. So was miss Marriott. But despite their obstructive and ultimately completely pointless fuckery we are still all checked in and sitting out on a balmy evening. It’s only about an hour in the plane from Boston but it’s noticeably warmer here, and chances are we’ll get to go to DC on the weekend.

Right now it’s just about settling in to a new city after travel day. But tomorrow I’ll have to get up early because everything is on fire back home. My bank has blocked my card and my appliances are flooding copiously into the flat below and we need to sort it out ASAP but I can’t pay for a plumber and I can’t let anybody into my flat and I don’t know anybody’s availability and Brian is about to open a huge show and is working like a train and I’m honestly clueless about how I’m going to get this fixed but I have to and it has likely already cost me loads of money in repairs to the flats below me who will likely insist that their ceiling was made of gold, and it’ll cost me more in bad blood in the block. It’s a fucking shitshow. 7am here is already midday in UK l. It’s hard to organise things.

Meantime we are all bundled into the car and driving to Annapolis for dinner. The hotel has huge rooms but it’s in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never been to this state before. For the first time this tour it’s a new place for me. I want to get to know it…

On a first touch it’s great. We drove in and found little streets that feel like they have actual history. Like Massachusetts, you see “established 1755” on the stone front of the restaurant and you can almost kid yourself that you’re in Whitby. The food is more varied than the UK seaside fayre where the choices are: Fish and Chips, a 200 year old saveloy or “no sorry mate we’ve run out of that but we’ve got this saveloy.”

There are seagulls too, but not so many. This is a country with guns. They still want your food though but that’s what seagulls are. I see them wheeling but perhaps short term evolution has taught them not to try and steal people’s crab cakes.

I think I’m going to be happy here for a week. The sea is home for me. I’m pulled to it. “You’ve got the sea in your blood,” my grandmother used to say as a child, and I ignored her as any normal child will do when somebody older makes an incomprehensible statement. But she might have had a point. I think I do need the sea. I don’t do well if I’m parted from water.

A new city. A new week. I’m looking forward to Annapolis.

Here’s me under the same tree at Wellesley College that I took my Twitter profile underneath more or less exactly five years ago. There’s lots more grey in my beard now. I’m wiser…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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