I love leaving. From that moment when the plane finally takes off the tarmac after having waited minute upon endless minute to get on the plane, and make sure everyone is on the plane, and then taxiing to the designated runway; there’s an undeniable soul exhale that happens when the landing gear stops kissing pavement and you, the plane, and all the passengers are suddenly weightless. Sometimes the exhale lasts longer than others, sometimes it just lasts until you start the descent. Nonetheless, you are up and gone away from your normal life. I get pretty happy when this happens, feeling the responsibilities and dramas of normal life falling off of me like brown leaves in autumn. And there I am, a big, naked, wiry tree.
My flights were easy, my connections were mostly painless and I met my first interesting person on the trip – Linka, a czech-expat who was visiting home for a wedding. Airplane chatter is always funny because you have to find out if the other person feels like talking by catching on to a series of body language and vocal clues. I myself like to talk to people on planes and find out what’s going on with them, “pretending that I care” (:) Tyler D.) But most times people are dead-eyed staring straight ahead and comatose, wanting nothing to bother with they petty-ism’s of plane talk. I think that they want to talk and hear about the other person but most people don’t want to bother and feel like they are keeping their seat-mate from sleeping for the next however many hours. I fall into this too out of habit. Yet, slowly but surely, Linka and I started talking and continued to talk for half the trip about life in general. We both agreed that the following is true for all cool and rational human beings: sleeping is best in absolute darkness, politics = pointless, living in the moment is hard but attainable, United airlines has gross food, and hipsters suck. There were many more agreeable points but I’ve lost them over the course of moving too much in the past few days. So far, Linka wins as being the kindest seat-mate yet.
Landing in frankfurt, germany was a long process. It was at least a mile from gate to gate but I had plenty of time so I took it in stride, as part of the game, but I knew that within me things had started to change, other gangstas seem to think they know what I am but I look back with a 40 and a gun in my hand. The best flight was frankfurt to nuremburg. I had a row to myself, it was sunny outside and the steward brought me a bottle of beer to suck down on the 30 minute flight.
I lost a bag on the flight over but I didnt feel too bad compared to the kid who lost his having only come from frankfurt to nuremburg. I even forgot to take my bags through german customs so it’s amazing that I got them anyway (even though I really don’t remember seeing any sort of line for this as in other countries). Meaghan met me inside the airport and helped me talk to the Lufthansa lady about what to do when they did find my ish.
And then I was back in Europe. And my nephew gave me a super huge hug. And I had one day to rest before a 13 hour drive to northwest italy, through the mountains. And everything was good.