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Today’s our last full day in Dublin; tomorrow morning, we head to the airport to fly to Newark, where I’ll then kill three hours before hopping on another plane to Los Angeles for the MLA.

There are all kinds of ironies — or, perhaps, coincidences, unfortunate bits of timing, and plain rotten luck — involved in this next segment of the epic journey I started back on December 15. That the second, domestic segment of the trip will only be about an hour shorter than the international segment, of course. That, on the other end of the flights, I’m going to be 35 miles from my actual home, and yet will never get to see it. But mostly that, this year of all years, when I’m living on the east coast, the conference is being held practically in my backyard out west.

And I’ll confess to having a little bit of difficulty getting myself geared up for the trip. The pre-Christmas visit to my family in Louisiana was lovely, if hectic; Christmas in Prague was astonishingly wonderful (particularly for a second such experience); Dublin has been great. I’ve had some moments of great productivity, and moments of great relaxation. I’ve seen and heard and eaten and drunk wonderful stuff.

But I’m tired. Tired of living out of a suitcase. Tired of hotel beds and recirculated air. Tired of not being entirely in control of what I eat and when. I long to go home, unpack, make some tea, and just sit in my own space.

The irony, of course, is that the space that is currently mine, at least in some sense — the studio in New York — is no more my home than any hotel room, really. But it’ll be home enough, once I manage to get back to it.

Between now and then, though, MLA! I’ll be around Wednesday through Sunday, and will hope to meet up with some of you there.

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