We are each a collection of stories and the hot air that spins them. We are all experience stuffed inside a carry-on, the breathing baggage of merely existing. Even the tales we don’t tell still hold value, as does every strip of sinew. Connectivity is the byproduct of existing, and some episodes are meant for moving all the pieces.
Today I am traveling, and my pieces move accordingly.
For instance, the tray table zigs when I zag, its frame imprinted upon my legs, my arms adhered tightly to my sides by a paste of sweat and stranger. The turbulence is steady.
I can touch the bathroom door from my seat. The smell is even closer. Convenience wafts upon the air of consequence.
Like most of my solo travel, this trip is work-related. So was the one last week. The work is family-centric, be it films, books or conferences. The irony of leaving family to promote the concepts of family is not lost on anyone.
Last night I stayed up too late, unpacked with deadlines missed. One son had practice, followed by a movie with the other. There was homework, chores and reminders for the morning. My wife made tacos. I set my alarm to offset the difference.
Time is the stacking of priorities and the space you fill between them.
Now I’m in a tin can, somewhere over you, my screen staggering slightly against the shuffle of my seat. I can see your house from here. Meanwhile, my house is a time zone behind me, maybe two. There are taco-stained dishes in the sink. There is a dog racing through the backyard, bouncing and barking. The boys are at school eating the lunches that I made, learning by the minute and growing even faster. All they know is turbulence.
I have become a secondary character in their story. I’m there for laughs. Shelter. The driving to places. The occasional dash of conflict. My hero status shadowed beneath the stretching of their egos.
It is lonely business, traveling by oneself, even if all I am missing is being taken for granted.
Family goes on even you are on an endless flight, and someone is always reading over your shoulder. It’s a story that we all share.