I’m on my way to SFO again. What else is new?
This time, Virgin America–a slightly later flight than my usual United Flight 5. No need to get up at 3am this Monday. Tell that to my creature-of-habit subconscious. I didn’t get to sleep until after 3am. Tossing and turning; worrying about the future; about work; about all those late night what-ifs that consume a girl between midnight and morning.
Yesterday, I handled the domestic stuff and things that come with moving to a new place. Hanging paintings; arranging furniture; running out to Target. My sister CJ was, of course, along for the ride.
“My travel really wreaks havoc on relationships,” I said from the driver’s seat, as we made our millionth turn around in Brooklyn–attempting to get from Ikea in Red Hook to Target on Flatbush Avenue. (NB: Google Maps likes, knows Brooklyn about as well as any Manhattan cabdriver. Which, for the uninitiated, is to say not at all.)
“These last months have been hard,” she said, charitably. She left out the part about how they’ve been more than hard; about how I’ve been back and forth between the moon and New York City–constantly off-kilter from time changes; unable to commit to anything, any date, any event; living as the dreadful type who cannot be counted on for anything.
“I was going to bring one of my jackets over, to hang in your closet so you’d have something,” she said, “But I thought that might be weird, since people already think we spend too much time together.” She smiled.
I laughed a little; smiled, too, knowing that these months ahead will not be time that I spend alone. “Your friend is your needs answered,” I thought, and it struck me how much I needed her; how much I cherished the support she’s given through this whole thing.
It struck me, too, that maybe we–she and I–would be just fine without the overcoats after all. Despite all the miles and hours and broken plans that had come between us over eight months.
So I kept driving. I made another u-turn. I hate Brooklyn. A skinny-jean’d hipster passed on a bicycle as we sat in traffic, riding a children’s bike with the seat jacked up to adult proportions. Requisite scruff; baseball cap and bandana fashionably around his neck; horn rims. I hate hipsters–Brooklyn hipsters, in particular–with their non-ironic brand of smug irony. I can see your package and you’re riding a children’s bike. Take your fair-trade coffee and your microbrews and get over yourself.
CJ and I eventually made it to Target; made it back home. Dropping our packages, we ventured out to dinner.
“This feels like home,” I said for the millionth time, just to hear it, just to say it. Just to feel the chaos settle a little and to feel anchored to a place.
“This is where I always imagined you being,” she said as we pushed open the door to a Mexican restaurant. Chips, salsa, guacamole: we sat and enjoyed the meal, enjoyed being together, blatantly ignoring the fact that I was due to leave again the next day and would be traveling for almost two weeks straight, with just a pit-stop at home on the way.
No one envies my domestic air travel program, really. Airports before dawn and after midnight. I don’t know whether it’s funny or sad that I was excited to leave for the airport with the sun already in the sky. But I love to travel, and I think I would sink, drown without the buzz of having to be in ten places at once.
It’s the trying to be ten things to people all at once that kills me.
I’m headed to the bay area for business, then driving across and down to meet my family in Yosemite. I haven’t been to Thanksgiving with my family, and now, to come back to the main event as a woman riding out the shockwaves of the ol’ marital sonic boom…it seems strange. They’re my family and they love me, but are they being nice to me because they feel sorry for me? Or is it because I’ve changed–really changed–and have become the kind of person who no longer drags down a room with fuss and frenzy and frustration with other people?
Don’t know. All I know is that I have a suitcase full of Blueprint Cleanse; have accrued an unfathomable number of domestic airmiles; am heading home for the holiday for the first time in ten years as a single woman.