Posts Tagged ‘travel’

There is something in the air,
pressurized so we can breathe it,
that puts a knot in my chest every time I inhale
39,000 feet above the sea

There is something about the propeller vibrations
that mimic the muscles in
my legs and back

I am flying home.
I should be flying home to you –

I brought you a volcanic rock from a beach where
the road ends and some handmade soap
and a peppermint chocolate bar –

I’ll probably eat the chocolate
when I’m sad and put the soap
in the bathroom to use up as fast
as I can and set the rock on the windowsill
next to the crazy basil plant

There’s something about
the emergency exit row
that reminds me of the last time we flew
when I slept with my head on your soft shoulder


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I started lifting heavy weights; I began a real skincare routine; I planted a garden; I learned how to make candles and sourdough bread; I spoke real lines in a play; I bounced on an Olympic-style trampoline; I roasted my first artichokes and braised my first short ribs and baked my first sweet potato brownies; I gave the best man speech in my brother’s wedding; I traveled to St. Louis and Michigan and Maine and New Orleans and Philadelphia and the Outer Banks and Spain and Morocco; I took off my clothes in front of strangers at Spa World; I hiked all over Maryland and Virginia; I started being deliberate about saving money; And, if everything goes well, I might have a big, exciting announcement to share in the next few weeks.

Overall, not bad for my 30th year of life.

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There was only one toilet, and there were two of us. We tried to dance around it, and we tried to be strong. In the end, we had no chance: someone was going to have to shit in the tub.

I cried after my 6th bout of diarrhea, and he kept making jokes after he puked out everything in his stomach. Really good jokes with impeccable timing.

He sleeps on the twin bed pushed next to mine now, not even snoring a little. I eat a packaged croissant quietly and slowly. I have never loved him more.

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Get fancy cocktails at the bar I like
Figure out what the heck brunch is all about in DC
Go to the Blues game at the Verizon Center on November 17
Have our own Thanksgiving feast
Exchange Christmas presents
Finally spend New Year’s Eve in the same place, kiss at midnight
Explore the east coast, one trip per month
Visit friends and family in NYC
Take more pictures
Head west
Find African black wood trees
Start a band
Go out dancing
Keep our book club going
See The Hunger Games in theaters
Plan a birthday trip
Move back to St. Louis
Open a yoga studio
Open a coffee shop
Open whatever sort of place we feel like opening at the moment
Get married
Watch more episodes of Dexter and Parks and Recreation and The Walking Dead on Netflix
Pretend not to know each other at a bar and see who can seduce the other first
Go camping, hiking, canoeing
Pick-our-own fruit
Stay at the cabin in Colorado
Try the other Indian lunch buffet near work
Rescue a pit bull pup
Keep adding to the list

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Bakery in the North End – powdered sugar

The other elevator in the hotel – honeydew melon

The man in the aisle seat in my row on the plane – herbal shampoo, an organic grocery store

The man in the middle seat in my row on the plane – sweat

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It’s 2:44 on a Thursday, in the fall, a college classroom with big windows.  Choose someone in the room to think about.  Say to yourself, “Just like me, he wants to be happy, he doesn’t want to suffer.”  This is how we prevent conflict.  Present moment, wonderful moment.
It’s 3:30, and I am walking out of my last class of the day.  It feels like I’m floating whenever I leave Mark and my classmates not because I’m so glad to be free, but because what happens in that room helps to free me.  Breathing in, I calm my body.  Breathing out, I smile.
It’s 2:15.  It always begins the same way.  We sit in a circle, names written on paper displayed on our desks so we can address each other by name.  Mark says with a smile, “Tell us about your good news.”  Someone says he passed his chemistry test, another that her mother’s cancer treatment is going better than expected, and another that his family got a new puppy.  The good news they do not print, yet ours is a daily edition.
It’s 9:38, and I’m in bed reading about Mev.  She reminds me of me, and I wonder how she knew exactly what I have been thinking, only years before.  I’m crying because it’s beautiful and breaks my heart.  My muscles can’t relax, and I have to take his words in small sections, let them digest, compost my thoughts before coming back to them again.  He doesn’t just ask us to be vulnerable.  He has offered himself first, and it makes all the difference.
It’s 2:27, and I’m writing in my notebook for 6 minutes without stopping.  My pen has to keep moving, but that’s not a problem because my hand is so much slower than my brain.  It has a lot to say and 6 minutes isn’t enough time, but he gives us an extra minute to finish what we started. I don’t put down my pen until I notice I’m the last one writing. 
It’s 5:15, and I’m still at the park with Matt.  We’ve been climbing trees and talking about med school – should we go, or do we want to try something different?  We find a fat praying mantis clinging to a branch.   He’s intrigued by my love of dance, and I’m intrigued by his love of climbing.  We both love moving, so it’s not surprising that our improvisation flows so lightly and naturally.  Our bodies aren’t meant for right angles, and stretching out from the day is just what we need.  We’ve been together for a few hours and will be for a few more.  As far as homework assignments go, this has been the most revealing.
It’s 2:31, but it sometimes feels like a lifetime of uncomfortable discussions.  It also sometimes feels like 16 minutes of clarity that will propel me through the rest of the day.
It’s 2:53 and as I reflect upon stories about Vietnam, I listen to a woman talk about how they remind her of a summer spent in Egypt.  Of the dust and how tense daily life seemed even though she only understood part of the language.  Of the immense hospitality and the curfews and the doors and smiles that opened easily when she asked.  I am amazed that her life is so vibrant.  And it’s not just her.  I am amazed that I finally have a chance to connect.

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