My Dad always used to say that “life is what happens whilst you are busy making plans” & as the older I get, the more poignant that message becomes. I have now been in America for nearly 2 ½ years & yet I am only now getting around to writing about when I first landed here & about the start of the REALLY crazy part of the adventure (a voice in my head just went “cause it’s been normal so far?”) …but hopefully you know what I mean.
It’s the part of the story where I become a complete fish out of water, totally leave my comfort zone, put on the big boy pants & dive headfirst into Los Angeles… one of the most shallow, pretentious & unforgiving cities on the planet. This is also the part where I test my life skills & find out if I have been paying attention to what has been going on around me for the last 37 years & how I interact with people, not only have I got a lot to prove but I’ve also got a lot to lose, as half of my family & friends back home think I have lost my mind & the other half are just thinking ‘oh he’ll be back in no time, you know what he is like… it’s another one of his insane schemes!’
Luckily growing up, I’ve travelled a bit & i’ve lived in foreign places, so when i look back & combine that experience along with my arrogance & excitement PLUS the support & love I get from Kylie, I never really saw leaving everything in England as being a big deal… it was just the right thing to do. My heart was making all my decisions for me, I don’t think at any point I used my brain in any of the choices I made & I didn’t (and STILL don’t) think I should’ve, life is short & at some point you have just gotta go for it, I wasn’t trapped by the responsibility of having children, I have the kind of immediate family that support me unconditionally but most importantly I had Kylie… my secret weapon. I can never ever overstate how much strength she gives me, they say behind ever great man is a great woman & my God how that is true, I have never met anyone that gives me so much strength, she makes me feel like I can swim through concrete (pauses for a second) …she is fucking incredible.
So (following on from part 19) I packed up what I had left back home into one pretty big suitcase (yes just one) jumped in my Dad’s car & he drove me to Manchester airport.
Whilst driving, we chatted about my plans in the USA & to be fair I told one or two white lies, I suppose i just didn’t want to worry him & although (when I look back now) I don’t think he would have cared that there was no plan, i mean he’s met Kylie via the magic of Skype a million times by now & my sister & Kylie are like best friends PLUS I now am in a place, what with the art career & everything where I know that he is very proud of me …but at the time I didn’t feel it was right to reveal what he probably thought was pure insanity. So he dropped me off, said Goodbye & I headed though departures.
The only problem with my flights was that, even though I left on the last flight of the day from Manchester (about 10pm) my flight from London was at 11am, which meant by the time I got to Heathrow I had 12 hours to kill… so I will summarize, sleeping on the floor in an airport is fucking shit! I got around 4 hours of sleep (in 10 minutes intervals) & even though I had the occasional hour or so of texting with Kylie… trust me, IT WAS FUCKING SHIT!
When I checked in (EVENTUALLY) & got through customs, I did however manage to wire up my laptop up via my phone to Yahoo messenger & we spent a couple of hours chatting, we were both SO excited, she had spent the last 12 hours making us a house, yes a house… complete with Bedroom, Kitchenette & living room. How you ask? Well, as previously mentioned in part 19 we were going to be living with Kylie’s ex-boyfriend at what was once their old place, it was a HUGE warehouse in downtown LA that had 2 floors (20’000 square feet) and seeing that it was also a shoot location is had masses amounts of furniture for movie sets lying around, so Kylie & him dragged some of it up 2 flights of stairs & they both went to work with drapes, beds & other stuff and after 12 hours, we had a home. (Side note: I know it’s weird, re-read part 19 if you have to get a handle on it)
Meanwhile back at the airport.
So, after discussing what she had done & how she had production designed our new home via Messenger PLUS the time difference, Kylie decided she needed sleep… oh & I needed to get on a plane, so after saying our goodbyes, chatting about my arrival & telling each other ‘I love you’ for about an hour, we got the ball rolling for the final stage of the journey. This is it, I thought… Los Angeles her we fucking come. (Insert dramatic music here)
Now planes are not my best friend, in fact as anyone over 6ft will tell you, planes are indeed the devil, unless you are lucky enough to get a seat by an emergency exit or rich enough to travel first class, someone my size sitting on a plane for 10 hours is almost impossible, although I was SO fucking tired I thought I might luck out & just sleep the entire journey… who the fuck was I kidding!? I was awake the whole time, spent half the flight standing to prevent my knees from disintegrating & to add insult to injury I had seen every movie that the flight was showing… but let’s be fair, Kylie was waiting for me at the other end, so even though I was tired & crampy, I was happy. No, scratch that, I was the happiest man on earth…I think that if I’d actually had leg room that I might have actually exploded with joy.
10 hours later & it was touch down… the date was April 1st, the time was 11.30am, the place Los Angeles international airport. “Just breathe Andy” I keep telling myself, “just breathe, you made it” …this shit was REAL (side note: I just sat staring at that last sentence for ages, I have such a mind’s picture of THAT moment, it may seem trivial to you but I remember looking out of the window & trying to focus on what lay ahead, not just seeing Kylie & holding her in my arms but about OUR journey starting TOGETHER, it was so oddly familiar & strangely obvious, I can’t really put it into words, I just vividly remember sitting there smiling with my heart pounding & yet being so calm)
ANYWAY, (he says rewinding for just a sec) when I originally booked my flight I booked it for 3 months, cause being from England that’s the longest you can stay in America without the correct visa. Obviously, at this stage various things were still in the air, one of them being the IMMEDIATE future like arranging extended stays, various other paperwork & other bit & pieces that I won’t bore you with, but we both thought that over the course of the next 3 months it would be ample time to sort that out (which of course it was) but dickhead that I am, when I booked the dates for my flight I got them wrong, I booked 3 months and 1 day!!
So when I hit passport control & handed over my papers what was the first thing they spotted? And what did that mean? Well, It meant that the authorities hauled by stupid ass off to immigration for 2 hours whilst we tried to sort out changing my ticket, which as you can imagine is quite a nerve racking experience not ONLY for me but also for Kylie who was sat waiting for me, she knew I had landed & she watched everyone leave the airport, yet I was nowhere to be seen & to make matters worse, I had no signal on my phone & no way of contacting her (they left me alone for the first hour) So as I sat there I basically shit my pants, I was thinking WTF am I going to do? Are they going to deport me? Do I have to buy a new ticket & what the fuck are they going to charge me? But mainly I was thinking what the hell must Kylie be thinking? (she later informed me as she was stood waiting for me, she also shit her pants except SHE was thinking that I’d been sent straight home & that they wouldn’t let me into America because I was a convicted murder or some other form of equally notorious criminal)
Anyway, after 2 hours & much deliberation with the Authorities it was decided upon that I was an idiot & that I had to sort out my own tickets within my allotted 3 month time frame, so they gave me my luggage, slapped me on the wrists & sent me off towards my now delayed rapturous meeting with Kylie & my destiny.
As I came through arrivals & into the main part of the airport, there she was. THERE. SHE. WAS.
The look of relief on her face was the first thing I saw… & then her beautiful smile lit up, I dumped my suitcase at my feet, grabbed her in my arms, lifted her up and we kissed, all whilst she was trying to ask me ‘what happened & where had I been?’ …her questions didn’t last long & as we kissed in the middle of a busy arrivals lounge, the trauma of the last couple of hours simply faded away. We were back together again. Everything made sense once more. And even though I had left my world 1000’s of miles away, I had simply just arrived home; Kylie was in my arms.
After being quite the spectacle to everyone who stood there for about 5 minutes (or however long we kissed) we then left the airport as I regaled stories to her about immigration control & even though we laughed & joked about it all, the sense of relief was quite apparent & when you combine all that with the fact I hadn’t slept in 24 hours, I must say it was one of the most surreal moments that I have ever had, but then again when you mix excitement, fear, joy & love together all whilst being tired & hungry it’ll do that to you I suppose, PLUS there was this huge orange globe of hotness in the sky that I hadn’t seen before, it totally threw me as well, i later discovered it’s something the Americans call “The Sun” …I always wondered what it looked like.
As we sped down the motorway towards downtown LA, Kylie then informed me that we were going to spend the day in bed & that as we were obviously going to try & fuck each other to death that she had booked us into the Hotel Figueroa & that it was the ideal place to catch up on 24 hours of much needed deviance that we had both been sadly missing for the last couple of weeks… I couldn’t have agreed with the plan more PLUS it had a Denny’s across the road. It was a WIN/WIN situation.
AND THAT’S PART 20, I have been writing this for 3 hours, I need a break & I don’t want to skip over the dirty stuff we get up to at the Hotel. SO tune in again soon for more shenanigans
PS And yet again there’s no photos… sorry about that, but I also had jetlag!