I have travelled the world over with him and he takes me with him everywhere he goes. I’ve been with him for over 20 years; according to the writing on my inside cover I was a present from his great-grandmother, Alice, on his 9th birthday.
I have travelled in the luxury of a first class plane seat to Auckland. He drank so much champagne on that flight I’m surprised he wasn’t dropdown, fall on his ass drunk. We travelled all over New Zealand: he got see different places from where I was filmed; he had a great time at Mount Cook; though those rough seas at The Bay of Islands were a bit much on him and he was a touch seasick.
He spent three weeks in the lap of luxury on The Golden Eagle Train. Sitting at the dinner table enjoying the views, he ate some of the finest food in the world. We travelled across Russia, China and several former Soviet countries – what a hassle all those visas were. His bad attempts at learning Russian were hilarious.
We spent three weeks in Eastern Europe. All those different currencies – bless him he had to keep a list of all the exchange rates and what currency was for which country. Most of the trains weren’t exactly luxury; they were on the old side and bit battered looking but that only added to their charm; kind of like me in many ways. He’s read me so many times over the years all of my pages are dog-eared, my front cover is held together with double-sided sticky tape, and I’ve been thrown around so much over the years I’ve developed some wear and tear.
But I wasn’t just there for the happy times and the adventures. I’m the one he reads when he’s happy, and I’m the one he reads when he’s sad. The writing on my inside cover is faded now after 24 years, but it is still possible to see the smudges where his tears fell following the death of his great-grandmother just a few short months after his birthday.
In this day and age of kindles, e-readers, i-pads and other such electronic media, I keep on expecting to be replaced; but he seems happy with me.
Everyone knows the old saying, “if these walls could talk.” Well imagine something that would be around someone for a while. Bring that object to life and let it tell about the person it is always around.
This short is dedicated to the loving memory of my great-grandmother Alice (1911-1988), to whom I owe my love of literature. Her gift of “Lord of the Rings” was what got me into reading in the first place.