[Ed: this was written six months ago, at the end of the first year of my two-year African contract.]
The toughest year of my life. Wee hours spent thinking, shall I go to work tomorrow? Or head to the airport instead? And being held back mostly by the need for an exit visa and all that that entails.
Days of thinking, this is beyond bad. This has reached meta-bad. I am up above myself and all the shit going on, looking down, and thinking in a distant, academic manner, like extraterrestrial anthropologists observing the Inquisition: This is bad.
The last six months were the slowest in history. They took at least three years. Did the earth slow in its spin, or did the moon arrest its orbit? Did we slip into a tear in the time space continuum and do the same days over, and over, and over? It certainly felt like it.
But now a version of me is at the other end, at a time I knew must come according to my subjective perception of the universe but which always seemed an impossible age away.
I apologise for speaking in such generalizations. I would really like to tell you folks so much more – and my stories would make your hair turn green – but if I did I would be PNGed, blacklisted and never work again.
But heyyyy . . . it almost doesn’t matter.
For reasons I won’t explain in depth (ah, there I go again) I have a fair wad of USD and a bit of gold, too. I will exchange and bank them when I get back. Together with my last wire transfer, they put me in a pretty good spot.
All I’ll say is, I probably don’t have to work any more.
I’ll do one more year in sunny Bumfuckistan to give myself ample leeway just in case anything goes wrong. Anyone old enough to remember 2008? Yah, we all just winced, didn’t we? But with an extra year’s savings put away it would take an asteroid or a stray bullet to fuck up my plans.
Or cancer, of course. There’s always cancer.
One more year. One more year. In fact, by the time I get back it will only be eleven months. I can do that standing on my head drinking ginger beer with a stick of celery stuck up my arse.
Now it’s sinking in. Oooh yeah. It’s sinking in real good. It’s just about reached my spleen. And now it’s oozing into my bowels.