The art of saying goodbye, proverbial cigarettes and fighting blisters instead of tears

I've done it before, lots of times: getting on stage at my own party so I hardly speak to anybody. Of course, hosting a party in general means you are too busy organising to actually entertain your guests in conversation. It is mostly about hooking them up with the right people so they will entertain themselves. However, being on stage makes it impossible to even manage that small gesture. In this case though, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. It was my final performance with the Matt Jacobs Band with whom I've played for the last six years. It needed a proper ending.

Calling it a kick off party instead of a goodbye party is nice, but it can't cover up the fact that I may be gone for a year and a half . I will meet some of my friends and family along the way but most of my friends I won't see during that time. Yet there were no tears and no sad faces, not even from my mom and dad. I cunningly arranged with them to meet me somewhere in the first two weeks of my twalking, so the parting is gradually. That helped, also for me. But that is not all: for some reason, walking away from your hometown is not the same as flying from an airport or waving goodbye from behind the wheel of your car. It just doesn't feel like you will be gone for so long if you turn the corner like any other day, as if you were going for the proverbial package of cigarettes: "Honey, back in a sec!"

But it will hit me sooner or later, I know. I'm too much of a people person and care too much for the ones close to me, not to. For now though, I am still preoccupied with blisters, back aches and bad weather. When they are gone and stay away, I'll be sure to play the blues on my baby Taylor guitar. But hey, why else carry it across Europe for 6000 miles!

Wijnand Boon