Friday, August 01, 2008


He's sitting in an airport, again. It becomes more familiar each and every time, like a pair of new pants, left to dry. It's been a long day, and he finds that he needs to focus to remember everything that he pondered while on the airplane, but it is not easily coming to him.

He thinks back to the situation and feelings that went down about this time last year. Anxiety, both immediate (is he actually going to get there?) and long term (am I going to make it OK? Am I going to die out there? [In multiple senses of the word.]) He ponders that right now, he has no such anxiety about the immediate events, none at all. However, nothing about the long term feels quite as resolved. He realizes that he put up a brave face while there about being here (or soon-to-be-here, he admits is more accurate.) that needs to be put away now because he is here. And here is where he was meant to be. Here is where all the short days of his life have prepared him.

Introspective, now. Remembering how the cloud-layer over Lake Michigan blended in with the horizon, leaving no terminator, no point of reference to the orientation of the plane. Thinking on the simple joy at getting upgraded to decent class or whatever it is called, with wider seats, more foot room, and (most happily) no seatmate on his flight to Dubai. Pondering the seeing of people that he knows or at least recognizes from shared activities, some half a world away, while on this journey. Recalling his awakening on the plane, jolted to awareness by something that he couldn't quite put his finger on. Brainstem aching, but he knows he's got to stay up for a while longer now.

Knowing he's doing pretty good with jetlag right now, but glad he saved the battery on his MP3 player so he can hammer himself awake later. Realizing that his personally preferred method of hammering himself awake on a regular morning, sticking his headphones in and listening to music that might be considered unacceptable in some of his old social circles, while running relatively alone through the quiet countryside to flush the fatigue and soreness from his system. Further realizing that he's driven his last automatic through small farm roads at high speeds with the windows down whilst yelling lyrics to his music for at least three months.

Excited, now, as the clock keeps ticking. He's going to be back soon. Back. And not back. Instinctively, he knows that it will feel familiar for a day or two. Then it won't, and then it will again. It's like a simple dental procedure. At first, the tooth missing is purposefully normalized inside one's conscious, thinking about how it's normal now. Then it does become normal, without one forcing one's self to accept it. Then it becomes abnormal again, and what does this cycle say about our failed internalizations?

He's in Dubai again. One more leg, and he's back to Kabul.

He can't express the gratitude for the opportunities he had this summer to be around his family and his friends. Part of him wants to deny that he wishes he could be back there, but the more honest part of him knows he should probably admit it so people don't get the wrong impression of him. It's not that he doesn't want to be there, it's just that he can't be tere now, and so he is trying to cope, probably in unhealthy ways.

He may write again in Dubai, but probably not. He's kinda wrote out right now.

He wonders if normal will ever be definable again. He realizes he doesn't care.

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