And just that quickly I’m back in Lima. The oppressiveness of the clouds weighs down on me. I'd been unlimited to the sky just moments ago. How suddenly have I forgotten the glories of sunshine. I'd basked in its brilliance mere hours before. So quickly is my memory of the thin, clean mountain air vaporized. I breathe the thick, moist air of this crowded, loud city. Here I am back in winter. I feel nearly as if I’d lived a completely separate life in Cusco. As if I’d been transformed while there and then returned to my original form when the plane touched down. The transfer from Cusco to Lima feels just like going from England to Narnia back to England again.
“There isn’t any sun.”
I think to myself, “In my past life I touched the Inti Huatana at Machu Picchu. In my past life I danced until three thirty in the morning. In my past life I made friends whom I’ll never forget. In my past life I climbed to the top of the Pisaq ruins and beat the sun down the mountain.”
I catch a bus to the Metro at Pershing Street and then shoulder my bags and hike it to Katrina’s apartment. It’s her birthday and she’s throwing a party. Birthday celebrations are the best. It also seems a fitting way to end my grand adventure. We fix some food stuffs. We set the table. We put out chairs. We drink some coffee.
When I stand still I can feel my body fighting for balance. I’m just exhausted. Content, but exhausted.
It’s a fun evening filled with gifts, songs, cake, food and laughter. Katrina looks happy.
A slow trickle out, the guests leave. We clean up the dishes, put away the leftovers and head to bed. The front room couch calls my name. “Coming,” I say. For the first time in my life I’m asleep the instant my head touches the pillow.
I dream of my next adventure. I know I’ll find it when I wake up again.