Bob & Me Alone At Last

Bob & Me Alone At Last

Solitary Journey

How I longed to have a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills in Africa. Meryl's words but my dreams as well. Then I could say "shoo shoo, it's my Limoges." Childhood fantasies rarely realized. Children dreaming foolish dreams of wild cats that curled up beside you on overstuffed chairs and big black panthers in the backyard tethered to trees with tiny leather leashes.

The African dream has been running in my blood ever since I was a small girl. At last that dream is a reality and Africa is within my grasp. In but a few days I shall embark on the adventure of my lifetime. Always the adventurer, slightly inflexible at this point in my life I have chosen to make a trip alone into the regions of Africa on safari. Dreams of panthers all but shattered, I now see spots in my dreams.

I returned to New York on September 6, 1996 feeling an attitude of great gratitude that I was fortunate enough to experience the magic that is Africa. It is with this feeling that I share so much of myself and my trip.

Tuesday August 6, 1996. And so it begins. The adventure of my life. Actually, a lifetime in the making, six months in the actual planning. Today I felt very disconnected. It was almost like I was free falling from a plane and waiting in vain for my chute to open. The boys were noticeably distraught yesterday when I left. Winno didn't stay with me in the morning when I readied myself. I missed his bulging eyes and snoring. In the middle of the night, Dakota was sitting at the end of the bed staring. He walked the edge of the bed to my arms and snuggled. His cat like demeanor only offers this behavior in the morning. He suspects that I'm leaving. The suitcases do it every time.

Now I embark on the adventure--alone. Slightly nervous, but all is all great. When I disembark in Athens, I will be #5 for the purposes of Clemis and Carol's pick up. How sweet they are shepherding me in Athensi Wednesday means great moussaka.

Mom, / feel your presence here with me. Please don't leave me. / need to spend some quality time with you now, today After all, / miss you. / see you easily You are here.

My mind turns to Arlene. Friend of some standing, 25 plus years, I applaud their impending marriage. Bravo. They have the courage to stand tall. I couldn't do it. I travel to Africa risking all, life and limb I suppose, but would not risk saying I like women. What does that say about who I am, what's important and standing up for what one believes in?

Aside: My knee is like a giant toothache that has captivated my entire muscle structure. Fine beginning. I am propped up with airline pillows. Two relafan, 4 wines. Too many hours to go. Better take some magic melatonin.

Sleep, airline style. My body has been transposed into a series of pretzels carelessly strewn about. Thoughts of Flight 800 permeate my mind. Did they feed them first, fill them with liquor. Was it sudden? My mind races with the anticipation of what lies ahead.

Wednesday August 7, 1996 Athens, Greece

It seems as it age takes a toll. My body is tired. Each cell yearns for sleep. Years ago, I didn't need a rest when I traveled. No jet lag. Today my pores ache! That knee is throbbing. Oh well, I can't let that deter me. I'm off on an adventure of a lifetime. Down the yellow brick road in my ruby socks....once I've had a few winks.

The other day I used the term disconnected while describing my feelings. Today I found myself feeling the same., The flight over seemed like an almost desperate desire to verbally connect with people. To speak to others; know them; have them relate; be interested in me. Standing before the mirror in my hotel room on this first day, I yearn to hear the voice of one I love. Who might that be? To see my dogs. Already? Surely this does not mean I don't wish to travel alone. I've felt this way before, it seems, but I have never examined it so microscopically.

Tollis, Clemis' nephew called. He waited at the airport for two hours. Oh well. He said that everyone commented on the number 5. Everyone except me, who obviously failed to see it! Today we went for lunch. Tonight we will go the the sea for a meal of fresh fish, Tomorrow, I have asked to go and visit Clemis' 85 year old mother and 87 year old dad in Nafpaxtos, a Seaport Village about 2 1/2 hours from Athens. I thought of my Mom in a loving light. Tollis' mother lives there too. The Acropolis for the second or is it the third time pales before this opportunity.