It seems like an age ago and yet it seems as fresh as yesterday, as familiar as a trip to the shops but in actual fact, it was, and still is, an adventure that starts and finishes with an A.
Sometimes I just sit at my desk overloaded from work and the deluge of information that fills one's mind with interference and distraction. We all have moments like that, where you need to take a break. So I get up and walk over to my refrigerator to grab one of the last few remaining Bargs Root beers I brought back from the States. On my way back to my desk I slip on a Redsox baseball cap, pull the ring pull off the root beer can, and take a sip. Right then, for a second, just a second, I’m three and a half thousand miles away, in a land where the radio plays rock and roll, where the trees turn all manner of colors in the autumn, and where the Charles River flows through one the most inviting cities I’ve ever known. For a moment I am in Boston once again.
For me, it was a relationship bathed in dreams and silver screen images that started back in 1992. After twelve hours on a plane looking out over spectacular and breathtaking scenery, I landed for the first time in the USA, beginning a three-month excursion into the land of fantasy, fear, and telivisuality. It became an epic 7000-mile round trip collecting more stories than even I can remember to tell. There was the sunset in an Arizona cactus forest, the long straight highway into Dallas, the Mississippi River, the sunrise in deep Virginia, and a daily walk past 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as if it were just a house on the corner of my street back in England. There were beauty pageants on the Venice beach, walks among giant redwoods, and nights under the stars in the Joshua tree-filled Mojave desert. Here were my dreams, now somehow a reality.
At 21, wide-eyed and full of wonder, my love of travel, adventure, and the 'new world' would start here and be burned into my DNA. Now, five years later, I was finally going back to America.
Like a child waiting for Christmas, I tried to remain calm as the plane began its final descent into Boston. From my window seat, I could already see the coastline and feel the excitement of being reunited. A friendship made in California would greet me here in the footsteps of the founding fathers.
It was sunny and hot as I walked out of Logan Airport and into the thick summer New England air. There’s guitars on the radio, billboards on the roadside, and big American cars on the right side of the street. There are sirens in the morning, lazy chairs on lazy porches, liquor and redemption centers, and cheap movie theaters where tickets cost a dollar. There’s root beer and bottles of Surge, Butterfingers and Junior Mints, skyscrapers, and train conductors who say “Swampscott” in a way you can’t understand. There are other people's family reunions, college quads, and Peter Pan bus rides, the ‘sea glass kids’ and a ‘nature Mom.’ There’s Applejacks, and Redsox caps, the Atomic Cafe, Rent-A-Wreck, and 57 channels with nothing on. There are new places, new people, and new friends. This is my adventure. This is my America.