(I’d start with the lyrics from Without Me, but at some point the album whence it came turned 16 years old. Holy shit.)
In truth, we have been back for four days at this point, but I haven’t been in the mood to write and we have been a touch distracted; upon opening the door to our apartment Wednesday morning, we noticed a section of plaster on the floor, the result of a new water leak. Having roused both the management company and our insurance company and then dealt with the plumber on Thursday, we then spent much of Friday waiting for Darty to deliver our shiny new dishwasher as ours threw an error code stating that its mainboard had burned out after we tried to do the first batch of post-return dishes.
As for Houston? It was, well, Houston. While the Purrito has been making regular jaunts to carry things back and check on the house, this visa run was my first time back in the US in three years. This trip basically confirmed what I had suspected; three years of living in Paris has soured my outlook on a city that I never really loved, but had at least made peace with in the year or two before we came over here. Strip malls, traffic, and over-salted, at times unexpectedly sweet food are what stand out to me in my current (admittedly still jet-lagged) state; I’m grateful for the anti-high-fructose-corn-syrup movement that seems to have taken hold, which made selecting food somewhat easier for me, but holy shit are food portions huge, and when the fuck did 20-ounce bottles become the norm for Coke (disclaimer, owing to having grown up in Albuquerque)?
Confronted with the existence of all of three museums and Space Center Houston (which we did not end up visiting owing to extreme heat the first weekend and intense rain and packing the second weekend) in the “cultural activities” category, we saw, with renewed clarity, that there really is not much to do other than eat and buy shit, so the Purrito cooked (ask us how much catfish we ate [or don’t]), we bought shit (not that we didn’t possess Lego before…), we watched strange “family” movies (The NeverEnding Story, Labyrinth, and Where the Wild Things Are; Target’s $5 DVD collection was, shall we say, interesting), and we bobbed around in the temporary corporate housing’s apartment complex’ saltwater pool.
All that said, it could be the residual jet lag, but my memories of the trip are actually more positive than portrayed above; due to the strange schedule I was working from our kitchen table in an attempt to mitigate the seven hour difference with France, we found many of our afternoons free, and it has been quite a long time since we’ve had so much time together. It was usually running errands or grabbing Starbucks (again, nothing to do but eat and buy shit), but it was time with the Purrito, and for that I am always grateful.