Every time I'm in an airport, I think I should drastically change my life: Kill the kid stuff, start to act my numbers, set fire to the clutter and creep below the radar like an escaped canine sneaking along the fence line. I'd be cable-knitted to the hilt, beautiful beyond buying, believe in the maker and fix my problems with prayer and property. Then, I think of you, home with the dog, the field full of purple pop-ups-- we're small and flawed, but I want to be who I am, going where I'm going, all over again.
Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated. Admittedly, there is the primal shock of the deserts and the dazzle of California, but when this is gone, the secondary brilliance of the journey begins, that of the excessive, pitiless distance, the infinity of anonymous faces and distances, or of certain miraculous geological formations, which ultimately testify to no human will, while keeping intact an image of upheaval. This form of travel admits of no exceptions: when it runs up against a known face, a familiar landscape, or some decipherable message, the spell is broken: the amnesic, ascetic, asymptotic charm of disappearance succumbs to affect and worldly semiology.
Sometimes, on a plane, you see a stranger. He is so beautiful! His nose Going down in the old Greek way, or his smile a wild Mexican fiesta. You want to say: do you know how beautiful you are? You leap up into the aisle, you can’t let him go until he has touched you shyly, until you have rubbed him, oh, lightly, like a coin you find on the earth somewhere shining and unexpected and, without thinking, reach for. You stand there shaken by the strangeness, the splash of his touch. When he’s gone you stare like an animal into the blinding clouds with the snapped chain of your life, the life you know: the deeply affectionate earth, the familiar landscapes slowly turning thousands of feet below.
(I am thankful for Seattle public transit, the Bojangles at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, the prospect of stretching my legs in the Richmond sunshine, and y’all.)