Sometimes it can be a few hours, sometimes 60 seconds. Just me and the bag, at the end of one experience and on the brink of the next. I’ve taken to drawing the moment out. I guess I enjoy the detachment that comes with no-man’s land, briefly floating, as if weightless, before plunging into a different flow.
The last was lying on a platform in Welly, bathed in sunshine after a volcanic mission with a journalist, before jumping on a train to the Wairapa after the promise of pig farming and shepherding. The time before that, a coffee bar in Auckland airport: saying goodbye to Annabelle and waiting for the mystery journo to turn up. I find these moments a good opportunity to look back on the rollercoaster that just happened, and a chance to get excited about the next bit of the unknown.
Now my bag and I stand in a no-man’s land again. This time the setting is a grey pavement in a town called Masterton – a stark contrast to the bush I’ve been living in for the last two weeks. I wave Vicky’s wagon and trailer off down the road. Reality condenses into a spectacular memory of pig feeding, flying around the mountains on horseback, herding cattle with dogs, swimming for Pawas on the beach at dawn, and being with some great, great people.
But now reality is a pharmacy in front of me. I stand outside a little longer, and savour the memory of the last two weeks, smiling. Inside the glaring green neon shop front is a friend I last saw three years ago back in the UK - I can see her working inside under a florescent light. Who knows what will happen when I move from this spot. The excitement of the unknown builds until I can’t stand it anymore, and I practically run through the doorway.