Agreeing to meet a stranger off the internet at 1am in another country is a ludicrous thing to do.
But yet here I am.
My flight lands at Landvetter airport two hours later than scheduled and I disembark the aircraft, still wobbling, but now also moist at the elbows and prickly with panic. Both my pinkie toes are struck numb from high anxiety. I am late. How rude, how inconsiderate. Ludicrous.
And what if…? What if this was all some elaborate prank; executed by some old schoolmate bearing a grudge and with a sneering knack for revenge served at its very coldist. What if there was no stranger off the internet? Or what if there was a stranger but the dangerous sort? Those thoughts had not left me.
That is, until I stepped in off the tarmac and out into the fluorescent light of the arrivals hall.
A blonde woman, more spectacles and kindness than face, was hopping there holding a homemade sign with my name on it.
I’d always wanted to be met at an airport by a person holding a homemade sign with my name on it and so here it was, happening. Art, Actually.
Victoria greeted me with the affection a dear friend might after years spent apart being successful. Or years spent apart being tragically alone and lost.
‘You are real!’, she chirped.