Molassessly Thick

The cheapest ticket available put me in Atlanta, Georgia after a connection in Philadelphia. It's not about the comfort, not caring for the connections. It's about the price to destination ratio, which says that as long one makes it to their destination, everything is peachy. 

It's a shame really.  I always wanted to visit Philly. 

I'm stateside after over a year of living in France. I left behind my small flat in La Roche Sur-Yon, and even the hostel where I lived in Biarritz during the summer, to come "home". While living in France I took a seemingly enumerable amount of trains, planes, and whatevers to go wherever, and I did so without the slightest bit of anxiety. Yet, I can't help feeling uniquely misplaced. 

I recognize nothing. The sound of distinctly American English accents are like a recording of shrill shriek sounding over, and over again. It's so confident, and there is so much of it. I find myself walking into the international passport line when I realize that my passport is no longer foreign. It is no longer unique. 

The signs, the sounds, the people are all in English, but my mind, it's stuck in a language better suited for life across the Atlantic. My thoughts are all in French, and all of them are alarmed at what's going on. I respond slow to everything and everyone, never sure of what language they will speak, and although it is always English I can never seem to turn mine on. It comes to me in French first, I translate it to English in my head, and then I respond. 

English is my second language. 

My mother arrives. I haven't seen her 9 months so she asked me to come stay with her for a while in Pensacola, Florida. I agree, because that is type of thing you do for moms, but with that I ensure that my traveling lasts for at least another week before arriving in Texas, which includes the 4 hours or so it will take to drive to Florida. 

I'm not much for conversation, no matter the language. She does most of the talking, while I look at everything that whizzes by during the ride. I forgot how many fast food restaurants existed. I relished in the taste of the pastries she had prepared for me. I hate the music she puts on. I pass out. Tired. Confused. Jet lagged. 

I wake up in the parking lot of a Denny's somewhere in Alabama. "Let's get some food," she says. I walk inside, disheveled, musty, and hungry. We sit in a booth where the waitress arrives to hand us a menu. She begins rambling about something in molassessly thick southern accent. I hardly understand a word of what she says. 

"Excuse me?" I reply. 

"Wat wouldya like ta drank?"

"Oh...ummm...Sprite."

"Ok, hunny."