Waking from a heavily self-medicated post-flight slumber, the fog is thick. Part jet lag, part scrambled mass of neuronal misfirings, the very recent past elusively slips in and out of grasp. I’ve been asleep for how long? Four hours? Fourteen? How long ago did we board that plane? That exchange with the customs guy, it didn’t really happen, did it? It must’ve been a dream. “Where am I coming from this morning?! What do you mean, where am I coming from this morning? The ether, man! The ether at 35 000 feet!!” If that was indeed real, why would they have allowed us back into the country?
Perhaps ill-advisedly, I hop on my bike and pedal to the office in order to get a head start on the inevitable steaming pile of whatever that always awaits a return from a two week sabbatical. Fortunately for me, the streets are pretty well deserted, either due to it being a long weekend or because of the very early hour. Maybe a combination of the two. Whatever the reason, I am free to cycle in whatever manner I feel to be appropriate.
My confusion is prolonged, however, as the condition of the office strikes me as completely unfamiliar. It is neat. It is tidy. Our 13 years of National Geographic magazines that nobody ever reads but refuses to recycle has been chronologically arranged and put into what seems to be an entirely new shelving unit. Maybe this isn’t our office after all. But then, why did my key work in the door?
A bouquet of flowers lying on a desk with a note addressed to us confirms that I am in the correct space. From Distant Cousin, thanking us for the unexpected opportunity to contribute to the site and hoping that he did no long term damage to the brand. Ahh, yes. The disappearance of Acaphlegmic and the emergence of some distant cousin to hold down the fort and keep the wheels of opinion from grinding to a halt in our absence. Hopefully we can make this a more long term, regular arrangement and talk him onto the payroll. And by payroll, I mean some sort of non-monetary, stock option kind of set up that will pay off for everyone in the end. Eventually.
I make myself a Spanish coffee from all the proper ingredients that I find in the shockingly clean kitchen and fully stocked fridge that was definitely not that way when we left it. Another Distant Cousin touch? Yeah, he is definitely a keeper. Then I sit down in front of the mountain of material that awaits my perusal as we start to bring ourselves up to speed on the goings on here in the Big Smoke over the past couple weeks.
Have we missed much? What’s that you say? Rob Ford’s now at the front of the pack in the mayoral race according to an unpublished poll? No, that can’t be right. It’s just the jet lag talking. Or the Spanish coffee just kicking in. Come on. You can’t be serious. Rob Ford? That Rob Ford?! In the lead?? There must be some kind of mistake. We haven’t been away that long. Surely we would’ve heard if hell had frozen over.
— disbelievingly submitted by Urban Sophisticat