This has been a strangely uneasy start. Usually there's a certain poetry to departures, something evoke the oft-misattributed quotation about how, once you have committed, the world lays a path at your feet (somehow always cited as Goethe, actually from, uh.. author of "The Scottish Expedition"). That's usually the way it feels: you step out the door in the pre-dawn glow of a restless night lost to worries about what you've packed, what you've forgotten, what you've left undone. And like stepping onstage, something lifts. Your shoulders straighten, your lungs pull in just a little more air, and you're another person, in another world.
Hasn't happened this time. The wearying, grating complications that usually fall away like a winter coat are still there. Lights too bright, voices too loud, too strident. I smile at the TSA guy and give a "good morning" to try and set the tone as I hand him my ticket. He eyes me"Name? Spelled out?" Nothing else. I spell it for him; he looks from me to the passport and back again and, satisfied, calls out "Next!" to no one in particular. I am free to go.
Maybe it's lack of sleep. Or the fact that this *is* an edgier trip than my usual adventure. But it's upset that emotional rush I've come to expect when setting out. Little things keep tripping me up – sharp plastic edges catch at my sleeve; the metal handrail feels clammy, greasy. Sensations come at me – even the flight attendant's vacant "Have a nice day" jars me. Yes, her mind is elsewhere, but for a moment, my vision flickers to "Westworld", or Disneyland animatronics escaped, and gone underground.
It'll pass, I know it will. I'll curl up here in the dark of Seat 12A (when is a window seat not a window seat? When, inexplicably, there's a solid cabin wall where the window should be). When I wake up. somewhere short of my connection in Atlanta, the adventure will have started in earnest, and the world will have laid a path at my feet as I slept.
Such a strangely melancholy-poetic blog post… I hope that sense of adventure and excitement catches up to you once you arrive in Liberia and escape from the doldrums of the airport.
Do good. Have fun. Come home safe.