On the way home / by vanessa

WARNING: Whining ahead. Is this writing every day thing over yet? That's how I feel. I'm on a flight back home and the guys in the seats behind me have literally being chatting every inch of this flight. I don't have earplugs thick enough. I'd rather be sitting in front of a chair-kicking toddler. Which is saying a lot.

We started this effort maybe twenty-three days ago, so I only have seven left. I'm definitely I've been doing it. At the beginning of the year when I set my goals, I said that I wanted to do a creative project this year. I envisioned a large scale, sort of public thing, with a friend. And that's true. It took a different form from what I expected, which I suppose is often the case with goals. Over the past three weeks I've gotten faster at writing (which is not to say fast) and have become less self-conscious about writing solely because stress takes longer.

But today, I'm just in sort of a sour mood and the last thing I feel like doing is sharing. Except that I would like to share my fist with the guy behind me who won't shut the f*ck up. We've been in the air for four hours, bro. Your Costco/chicken cacciatore conversation cannot sustain your seat neighbors for the remainder of this flight. I'll bet you'll try, though.

Sometimes I have this thing with travel. I love New York City and the feeling of sheer possibility that comes from walking its crowded streets towards uptown until I finally give up and catch the 6. Later, by the time I got to the airport, I had already begun the process of disconnecting; of retracting from the city. It was as if I hadn't exhaled in days.

Moving through the security line, I was selected for a random screening. The TSA agent was clearly annoyed at having to pat me down. "Sorry this is irritating to you," I snarked as she rolled her eyes. She directed me to the floor pad with yellow foot imprints on it. "It's not irritating," she said, but I didn't believe her. "No, it's not irritating. It's just that I'm pregnant and it's uncomfortable bending down to pat your legs." I looked down at the thickness of her belly, something I hadn't noticed earlier. "Congratulations," I told her. Really I wanted to say I was sorry.

I thought about my own baby, who's not much of a baby anymore. I wanted to squeeze him tightly and listen to describe the hip-pa-poth-a-muth and elepanth he saw at the zoo yesterday. I wanted to feel his head rest on my shoulder as he tells me, "Mommy. Hug." Instead, I collected my laptop and luggage from the cold metal table and walked the long walk towards my gate.