The kitchen is dark. Shapes protruding from the black. The faucet drips every eight seconds. The low hum of the refrigerator fills the rest of the silence.
The convention at Zurich had been tiring. I never sleep well in strange beds. Still, no one else had been able to go and someone had to make the presentation. That duty had fallen to me.
It had gone down fine – it was mostly well timed button presses combined with a smattering of simple German that I still managed to butcher. I’m not exactly silver tongued in any tongue, even my own.
The Swiss shareholders had been happy though, their satisfaction evident in their complacent expressions and the distinct lack of moaning. I can pick up on a grumbling tone in any language. Maybe I have an ear for them. Regardless, they weren’t displeased and that is all I or the company could hope for, all things considered. Bright Minds would continue to get their funding, whether or not we would continue to fritter those obnoxious amounts of zeroes on dead-end research was officially TBD though.
I would be happy to return to the office on Monday. I’d bought my wife, daughter and boss the exact same souvenir – an obscenely large Toblerone chocolate bar each. Last minute duty-free dash kind of limits your options.
I set my hold all down for the first time in what seems like forever and climb the many, many stairs to the bedroom. It’s like one of those old-time movies, where the destination seems to stretch away endlessly, never to be reached. But unlike the movies of my youth I reach the door handle and push my way into familiarity. I get undressed and change into my freshly pressed pyjamas. My wife doesn’t stir as I slide in next to her.
It’s good to be home.
This Sunday I too will have reached my Journey’s End. Here’s hoping the prize is as sweet as this guys.