Catch 31.

And that’s that. Somehow I’ve managed to tear away my vice-clawed grip from the airline arm rests that flank me, just to type this entry. At 35,000 feet, there’s not a whole lot of turbulence on the plane; most that arises is strictly internal. Though I’ve suffered clubbing blows upside my noggin, climbed sheer rock walls with naught but a Geordie to catch my fall, and zipped down rocky Highland roads at 80 miles per hour dodging sheep, cows, and rabbits, I still can’t get over my fear of flying. Yet strangely, I wonder if we plummeted to earth this very second, would I then feel as fulfilled and happy with how I’ve lived (in those last, dire seconds) as I do right now, safely buzzing over the great Rocky Mountains? The terrain looks so very different – no electric greens of Glencoe and Perthshire, cut by ribbons of deep blue lochs and winding rivers, but instead peaks of brown and black, mottles of rust and orange and zig-zagging highways abound. Here I am in the Land of the Free once again.

Scotland seems like forever ago, and I just left. There’s been so much to do, so many loose ends to wrap up, and so many last drinks to have. Until this morning, I hadn’t felt much of anything, so sure I’ve been that I’d return to live amongst it all once again. And when the crystalline, sparking sadness crept in, welling under my eyes and pounding in my heart, I had to simply push it back to continue on the journey – one more hurdle to get over, and one more task to complete well. And I said goodbye, but there are thousands of pictures to go through, both tangible and within my memory. The challenge is complete.

There is no way I could have done this, and no way I could have navigated this past year without my dear Edinburgh friends. I would like to take a moment to thank you here, regardless of what words have already passed between us. Scotland is just a country without you in it. With you there, it is a Destination.


anonymous_seth – Perhaps the single funniest person I’ve ever met in my life, with the most diversity of interests.
gingiber – Because she bounces, which makes me so, so happy.
Together, they are my connection, my foreign family, and my favourite companions of adventure.
spiffington – A real-life cartoon with a heart of pure gold.
‘Bad Potato’ grahamb – For his mountains of starch, warm hospitality, and infectious, blinding geekdom.
tylluan_dawel – The most driven, emotive, and curious girl…all swirled up in a ball of kindness, warmth, and style.
angledge – My quotient of Yank sanity, and my staunchest ally.
zotz – Whose brain I wish to plumb on so many levels, and one day hope to.
seolta – She reminds me, through her own actions, that there doesn’t necessarily have to be a difference between fantasy and reality.
buca – For making me feel dirty, drunk, and always in the most excellent of company of laughs.
mxhaunted – For proving through his inherent kindness that life can be better than we sometimes make it.
blu_matt – Because he likes piggybacks on the first date. That and that we can laugh like schoolgirls at nothing at all. For hours.
evils – She’s my soul sister, Waits confidante, and perhaps the most creative imagination of anyone I’ve met…in a dark, twisted way.
occular – For injecting a fair modicum of ‘in’ into my sanity. And for Chris Morris.
fraulein_doktor – My lovely Italian fey. Her smile and warmth always made me smile and feel warm.
retrogoth – For finally understanding that you can have the ‘buddy’ and the ‘friend’. But not the window or the pants.
alison_ella – The lovely, dirty wife I never had.
sibelian – The lovely, dirty boyfriend I never had.
pisica – For proving that you can never have too many recycled tupperware containers. And for excellent grammar skills.
aitkendrum – My favourite ginger man; a real solid lad, always with good things to say.
Kieran – For being my true brother in arms…for for holding open the door, and making me want to be a better person.
Azra – Who has made me aware that there really are selfless people in this world, and who allows myself and Kieran to go on and on about Jacobites. For hours.
Peter and Helen – If I ever thought of joining a different family, they have already made me one of their clan.
Jennie and Lindsay – I fell in love with watching them fall in love, and they never cease to amaze me with their kindness and goodwill.
Gilbert – Who has proven that all Islanders are a perfect blend of rambunctious and delightful.
Andrew – Broaching the subjects that my nationality prevents my from truly grasping. But I’ve been listening intently…
Ralph – A perfect young gentleman and my academic motivator and envy; his name will be in print before us all.
Kerstin – Her support, kindness, and willingness to connect were an integral part of my own comfort here.
Mike – For wee, red photos and pain upon the Meadows – inflicting and receiving.
Eireann – Because a very real part of him is magic. He’s my cross-over chum, and a mirror of what I was and what am, and perhaps what I could be.
Sharon – She taught me about ‘snooblers’. That should be enough right there. But there is so much more.
Tobias – Two words: wonderful trousers. A unfathomable, cross-continental mutt of fashion, style, and art.
Marianne – The dead match of my emotional nature, I always felt that I was grasping her words on so many unsaid levels.
Iain – For not throwing rocks at me when I told him it was okay to do so.
John – Somehow he was able to listen to me rant about history just about every time he stopped by – and it wasn’t even me that he was visiting.
Brooke – For challenges faced and still yet unsaid, for strength and for resolve. I learned so much in such a short time.
The Crew at The Brass Monkey – For melting my liver, and for remembering my name.

And then they melted off into the red, cobbled night.

Until next time, my dears. Thanks for everything.

44 Responses to “Catch 31.”

  1. lunesse Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 2:29 am

    you are a lucky soul.

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:44 am

    I certainly am, and I thank my lucky stars every day. Or in your own words, perhaps it's just that we're 'blessed'.

  3. Anonymous Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 2:52 am

    funkyplaid – a man willing to try new things, even though they may cause pain, fear, misery, and/or dampness. a man with an infectious enthusiasm for all things scottish and historical (and tartan). a man with wrinkles, a beard, little legs, and a funny accent.
    ah well, two outta three ain't bad 😉
    you're welcome in the family whenever you decide to return, as long as you keep your room tidy and do your homework on time and <font color="#999999">feed the cats and </font><font color="#999999">take the bins out and </font><font color="#CCCCCC">do the washing up and </font><font color="#DDDDDD">do something about that tartan fixation and </font><font color="#EEEEEE">bring me cake on demand and </font><font color="#FFFFFF">stop being all smug just because you worked out how to read this bit…</font>
    <font color="#CCCCCC">anonymou</font>seth

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:48 am

    Wonderful. And my, but your HTML skills are keen – I almost missed the 'bringing you cake' bit due to the tilt of my LCD. But you know I'd do that anyway.
    May all our friends support the slowly burgeoning tits!

  5. Anonymous Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:52 am

    there are 14 more words for you to find…
    <font color="#CCCCCC">anonymou</font>seth

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:58 am

    Oh my lord – that is SO you.

  7. dryad_wombat Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 4:07 am

    You are a darling, and we are already talking about how long it feels since we saw you! We're totally going to have to mission to SF. You and I can ply Graham with sushi and Victorian terraces and mist.
    I want to say something amazing here about how special you are, but all my words are falling to the floor helplessly at the magnitude of encapsulating your quirky, generous marvellousness. We love you sweetheart!

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:51 am

    This warms me very much, and I thank you. I know that from our conversations and interactions that we share a mutual affection and admiration, so words are not necessary, though I thank you dearly for expressing them regardless.
    I will look forward to seeing the both of you out this way, and we will surely shove much wriggling fish down Mr. G's throat. Then we'll get lost in the fog, tumble down some stairs, and go get tea in North Beach and laugh at the Italians.
    Man, I can't wait.

  9. angledge Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 4:09 am

    Sanity? Moi? Bwahahahah!

  10. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:53 am

    Yes, and especially with that pumpkin head of yours.
    What, with Halloween coming up and all.

  11. lady_in_satin Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 4:14 am

    Are you back yet? Are you here now?

  12. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:52 am

    I am! I am!
    Right here!
    *jumps up and down, waves arms*
    When do I get to see you?

  13. lady_in_satin Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 2:28 am

    Oh my gosh! I think the question is: when do we get to see you!
    Tonight we have a meeting with Simon's teacher. Tomorrow night we are invited to a dinner party (which we will gladly skip out of early if you want to grab a drink)
    Saturday Ryan is busy helping Amy Goodman, but the kids and I will be in Marin just hanging out. Of course, I imagine you will not be!
    Sunday is totally open.
    Next week is a cluster fuck b/c of the show in LA.
    Next weekend is pretty clear, especially the evenings. I'm taking a day-trip to Pescadero, but will be back in time for dinner.

  14. lady_in_satin Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 2:30 am

    Oh, email me for my numbers!
    I imagine you don't have them anymore!

  15. spiffington Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 4:55 am

    Thank you 🙂
    that's what happy thoughts sound like in my world

  16. dryad_wombat Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 5:10 am

    *claps!* That's exactly what they do sound like, you are right! And they move, too, hurtling about like demented cheerful fireflies.

  17. spiffington Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 6:35 am

    You are officially a member of the cartoon world!
    All hail the newby!
    *hail, hail*

  18. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:54 am

    Many things sound like that in your world, darling, and that's why I love you so.

  19. spiffington Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 7:22 pm

    Yup and some of 'em kinda sound like
    but that's not too often 😉
    It's usually the *splooet* kind…

  20. dougygyro Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 5:21 am

    Welcome home, brother.
    Call me soon because the first round is on me, to you.

  21. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:55 am

    As soon as pick up the car, I'm headed your way. Should have a phone by the weekend, so we'll be in touch very soon.
    Thank you for the warm welcome!

  22. zotz Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 5:53 am

    It's a shame you're gone, but hopefully I'll see you again soon. Take care until then.

  23. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:56 am

    Thanks, G. We'll certainly have more to chat about in the future.
    I hope you remain well, also.

  24. mxhaunted Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 8:27 am

    Sorry to see you bugger off. Good luck with plans and hopefully see you soon.

  25. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 12:57 am

    And you, Mat. Hopefully by then you'll have your new place!
    And the strippers!
    And the ferret farm that you used to tell me about!

  26. sibelian Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 8:45 am

    You could have just said something, you know. I would have washed.

  27. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 1:00 am

    Gonna miss you, S. Can't wait to sit down with your CD and give it a whirl. Thanks again for sending me off with your music.

  28. avalokita Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 8:50 am

    awww… *hugs*

  29. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 1:01 am

    You're a darling.

  30. evils Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 11:18 pm

    Till, we meet again … 😉

  31. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 1:01 am

    And we will!

  32. alison_ella Says:
    October 13th, 2004 at 11:28 pm

    But you will return, and I look forward to it XX

  33. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 1:02 am

    If only for the lap-dances?

  34. alison_ella Says:
    October 19th, 2004 at 12:02 am

    Only when you return my dear!!

  35. gingiber Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 1:16 am

    So glad to hear you got back safe.
    I was an odd feeling leaving you at the airport and suddenly realising I would not see you again. That you would not be popping round for a cup of tea any time soon.
    You will always be a part of my family, I feel awed that you would want to join 😉
    Take care till me meet again.

  36. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 3:44 am

    Oh, L.
    The year was such a weird timewarp…and very odd to see an end to it, but we both know it really will be only temporary.
    I won't get mushy again, damnit. But you're such a dear for letting me in.
    I'll take care if you will…

  37. fraulein_doktor Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 2:00 am

    I'm already missing you so much, sweetie and it feel so strange every time I think that I'm not gonna see you in the week-end or in other occasions…
    Remember, that you're always more than welcome to come to Italy,whenever you want and you can…
    Take care honey…
    Un abbraccio grande grande e un bacio dalla piccola italiana.

  38. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 3:09 am

    Big hugs from wee Europeans are some of my favorite things. Thank you so much for your sweet words and kind offer. I'll really be looking forward finding the time to come to Italy, and to once again seeing you in Edinburgh, of course.
    I earnestly hope that all remains well with you.

  39. Anonymous Says:
    October 14th, 2004 at 1:35 pm

    Failte gu leor!!!
    Yay, you're back!! Welcome to our hot spell turning to fall someday soon…didja bring us any fog, huh, pleeease?
    Or did you just bring some delightful guy in strange crossed stripes? That would be good too. (No, I was refering to your *clothes*, not those crown-o'-thorns lacerations, you sicko. Though the photos are cool.)
    Lots of virtual hugs until I see you!

  40. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 18th, 2004 at 11:16 am

    Re: Failte gu leor!!!
    Yes, the fog should be coming in anytime, now.
    Sicko, you say? It wasn't me that came up with the idea – I swear!
    Besides, I only dress up like Our Saviour on the holidays.
    Be seeing you very soon, certainly!

  41. blu_matt Says:
    October 16th, 2004 at 7:53 am

    All I can say…

  42. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 18th, 2004 at 11:14 am

    Re: All I can say…
    *hands you a tissue*
    *it's used*

  43. dichroicynosure Says:
    October 20th, 2004 at 3:10 am

    This is so tender! Wow, I need to do this for my pals back in Oslo!

  44. FunkyPlaid Says:
    October 21st, 2004 at 3:17 am

    Yes. There, and everywhere else our dear friends lie.

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