There is always such a flurry of activity after returning Back after being Away. It is not just catching up, putting things back in place, planning what to do, doing what needs to be done, it is processing your trip, tying up the loose ends, decompressing from Aways that always seem to go so fast that they seem to be a dream even after a day. Was I really there? Well, yes I was, and I have the ordered and visually-meaningful pixels to prove it. Ah, time is such a bitch, never enough. It is difficult when I want to be in fifty different places at once. I would’ve made a really good Jet Setter, all Mod and cool, waving and blowing kisses to everyone and no one, carrying a BOAC bag as I traversed Europe, The Coasts, and possibly East Timor.

I got a nice batch of emails from my pals, making sure I got Back alright, and wanting to discuss Stuff and Things, mainly saying how much fun we all had and thank you and all. They have my Back, and that is a nice feeling. Everyone should have at least one person who will go to the mat for you, I think. Like if you ever had real trouble, not just oh waah waah waaah trouble, they would help you out, no questions asked. If you don’t have that in your life, you better ask some big questions to yourself like, DAMN, DO I SUCK? If you do, you should immediately stop sucking and try to be a good friend to another good person or at least start by being a good friend to yourself.

Back here, I get a welcome home card from my daughter, with the delightful phonetic and confused spelling of my trip location: U NORC SIDE. I think I will use that as a rule now. She also drew a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it, which looked much more like the Luxor hotel, and pasted a drinking straw on the paper. I think the straw was the Empire State Building.

My ten year old gave me a big hug, the dog lost her mind with joy, and even the teen gave me a disaffected shoulder pat. After five days, they all looked older and the dog looked fatter.

Back to the laundry, back to the grocery shopping, back to staring down the papers on my desk (I win, and they have to still sit there HA), and back to the horrifying reality that Christmas is ten days away and I haven’t really done jack shit. I know I said I was gearing down, but it feels more like a truck is bearing down on me, with a blaring airhorn going HO! HO! HO! Santa’s driving, and he never takes no for an answer. He should just go Back to the North Pole and leave me to unpacking my dirty clothes and uploading awesome YouTubes. Old bastard.

So, another regular Monday, and I sit here in the dark in my car waiting for my kid to finish martial arts, typing away and enjoying XM radio, which I missed while Away. It’s 20 damn degrees and my fingers are freezing, and my mind wanders to all my dear friends, scattered so far all over the country. Sometimes, you can go Back, and it is good.