There’s a part in the movie Dogma, where Ben and Matt are talking to one another about the fact that supposedly Ben’s character (Loki) loves going to the airport to watch people reunite, when in all actuality, he goes to see how awkward the reconnections are after dalliances and situations take place before the person comes home. Thankfully I’m not an angry jealous archangel, so I was delighted to watch a whole spectrum of reunions, as the international arrivals area was directly in my sightline from my happy perch inside Costa. I watched a proposal (she said yes, though I always feel like a creepy voyeur when someone’s put on the spot like that… I mean, hell, what if she had said NO?), two parents meeting their new adopted children for the first time in the flesh (OOH stop sobbing, Pixie, it was almost a week ago!), a grandparent meeting their grandbaby for the first time, and five men who OBVIOUSLY had the time of their lives in the USA for PRIDE month. Security was called over when a *POP* sound and gushes of laughter ensued, but I’m pretty sure that it was just a giant bottle of champagne.
I got to watch all of these, and so many other hugs and happy moments, sleepy kids coming off late night flights, lovers reuniting, parents and a sibling holding a MASSIVE sign and a giant “0” helium mylar balloon that made the college-aged male burst out laughing and pointing at the balloon, hugging his sister and parents in the coolest family hug of the night.
I was so beyond sleep, I was alert and awake and heard pieces of their happy stories. And then there was the FOUR.
These individuals were young, I’m gonna say late 20-somethings, and two couples. I never did learn the girls names, but the one guy was Shtain (they pronounced it like Christian but without the “Chri” part if that makes sense) and Adeen (his girlfriend has the same accent as Lucy, and that’s how she was pronouncing it, so hopefully I didn’t butcher it in spelling). They had all just finished their graduate studies, and had taken 3 weeks off together to go backpacking and camping in Australia. They had to take buses and trains back home later in the morning, but for the time being, were content to sit in the booth next to mine. They joked around, showed me pictures, and sang a song I’m pretty sure they made up around a campfire one night about a dingo eating a turtle, but that wasn’t what got me about them. It was HOW they talked to one another. Clearly, these were friends for a significant amount of time, or so it would seem at first glance. But the girls had never met each other’s boyfriends before the trip. Shtain’s girlfriend was from “the north” but sounded like Samwise Gamgee. Shtain sounded like he was raised inside a beautiful Scottish hillside, and Adeen didn’t speak enough for me to get any actual discernible accent from him. He slept from almost the time they sat down until I had moved over toward the doors where my bus would be leaving a few hours later.
The reason I point these people out, is he fact that no matter how tired they were, having flown from Australia to Gatwick with I think it was 2 stops, and no sleep in between, they were so brilliantly awesome to one another. They were hilarious and generous and sweet and were reminiscing their fun as if it had been the moment before. Adeen and Shtain were pillows for the ladies’ sleepy heads, and they all took sleepy selfies and the ladies even grabbed the phones to head up a level to charge them for an hour so the guys could sleep a bit longer.
At 3:00am/10pm, I decided I wasn’t going to chance fate a second time, and I headed back toward the other area where my bus would be leaving from in two hours. Met a lovely lady named Jasmin, who was more than happy to chat with me while she waited for her train and I waited for my bus. At some point, Adeen and his girlfriend had crept over and were sitting facing the bench I was on, but I had my back turned to them, having been chatting to Jasmin.
4:25/11:25 came, and I wandered out to the bus area, and Jasmin gave me my first official HUGFEST HUG!!!! I have her number somewhere, so I have to dig it out and hopefully I can text her that all is well.
Bus came, took me to the main bus depot in London – oh that ride in was hilarious – I was soooooo overtired!! And I waited for the bus to take me north.
7:30/2:30am the bus heading for Manchester started to head northward. I sobbed a bit at how beautiful it was, and green and the horses look so much prettier here and the sheep aren’t all emaciated and the babies were happily frolicking in the grass, and there are spires that are probably older than Canada even, and I was able to nod off for about 35 or so minutes, for the first time in over 50 hours.
Pulled into Manchester, and I was delighted that the people were so kind and warm and receptive. Got to the Trivelles, Mayfair Hotel (it’s more like a hostel than an actual hotel, but it is super clean, the rain shower shower heads are just simply divine, and I slept for four solid hours before I finally got my first ever in real life HUG from Lucy. SHE’S SO TALL!!!!! Oh my, she’s so gobsmackingly beautiful!
She ordered pizza for us, and I don’t know if I’ve ever ever ever had a better pizza in my entire time on Earth. Might have been the company.
I’ll tell you more about the fun things we did after I got some sleep that night and she picked me up the next day.
Stay tuned! Hugfest2017 is just getting started!!!