20 June, 2004

Life, Unexpected

...life IS pain, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something....

I do not expect to have recurring dreams of someone removed from me by volition, if not distance, in which we spend happy and carefree time together. I am undecided whether to feel comforted by the dreams or taunted by their divergence from realitiy.

I do not expect to yearn for my father and resent the miles between us.

I do not expect to be reduced to tears suddenly and without tissues in the grocery store, when passing the pet food aisle. Fortunately, no one offers comfort, pretending in the way strangers have to not notice, so no explainations are necessary.

Because it's New Orleans, two friendly police officers at the entrance of the pier encourage me to get my traditional pre-flight libation. Because it's New Orleans, I can carry it with me to the gate. Because she's from New Orleans, Ginger has had the foresight to pack pretzels into my Surprise Bag of Snacks. There is a place to sit, a place to put my feet up. I relax, and try not to be too obvious checking out what the man next to me is reading. It's hard; he holds the magazine at a sharing sort of angle, and I quickly skim the articles he looks at. The beer makes me cheerful and garrolous. I should have had one for breakfast.

As we taxi out, I bid farewell to my second favorite city, wondering how I've lived so long without realizing that I've always wanted to live here. We lift off and soar over a swamp, through the puffy intricate formations of clouds. Their shadows shine on the murky mirror of Beautiful Lake Ponchetrain. I am tearful, wishing I'd had another day, one devoted simply to staring at masses of airborne water vapour. Since when did I become the sort of person who cries at clouds? Maybe it's the beer.

Probably not.

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