i didn/t respond. i smiled wider & moved closer to the night sky.
little boxes. in the states, we put ourselves in these little boxes. whether categories or cliches or interest groups. we go to college to study, we try to fit square concepts into round holes, but we all come out the same. we box our clutter, our knicks & knacks, our identities & we move to the confines of four more walls.
i stepped onto a box this morning. an oblong box with oblong windows. i held her hand as the ground beneath us shook & we breathed in deeper with the realization that we all share the same sky.
we crossed the pacific, chasing the sun. watched him rise for three hours straight. i was scared the beauty would fade, that after staring so long i/d become colourblind to the bleeding of the horizon. but then i remembered. i/m a hopeless romantic & my love for an honest sunrise will never fade.
children. sometimes i envision my life, a giant oak standing majestically at the top of a rolling hill. each twisted branch a possibility. i can see a lot of lives of mine, but none of them are without the laughter of children. two boys, fascinated by tennis balls. i watch their eyes light up as she shows them the secret of what/s inside. just rocks & beads, but to them, it/s magic. they sit in the row behind us on the plane. the little one runs carefree throughout the cabin, giggling secrets to himself. he has only one sock. his older brother is missing teeth. they both smile with their eyes.
[val befriended some kids in the airport who were fascinated with the rock-and-bead-filled tennis balls we use for juggling. the were amused for hours.]
we start our descent. the clouds are the cotton balls & marshmallows my mother described as i drifted off to sleep as a child.
i miss her touch. i can see the change on the cusp of the wing outside our window. i reach to touch it, to feel it mold me, melt me, transform me. but there/s steel & glass between us. i/ve put myself into yet another box & it/s hard to believe what i can make out through the scratched panes is real.
for some reason i thought it would feel different. more visceral. more real. we land with no problems. we snap hurried shots of the flight attendants in their emerald suits, their spring-tight buns, their pasted smiles.
their kindness seems genuine but in this foreign air it/s hard not to confuse with formality. they teach us how to count to three. we repeat, broken whispers & then it/s gone. language is such a fickle thing.
it/s early here. not quite yet six when we file through yet another security check. what is this obsession with the illusion of safety? we remove our shoes, we risk dehydration, we follow each proposterous rule & regulation. is it really to keep us free? with our thirst for freedom are we not imprisoning ourselves? boxes. circles. trains. a bowl of smooth brown wood.
waiting. we sit & wait. to file like sheep into yet another oblong box.
to search for comfort within four more walls indistinguishable from the ones we attempted to escape back home. i/m not sure whether to laugh or cry. i think about how far away from everyone i love i am & i lean towards the latter. but everyone here around me seems so happy. is it just a formality? instead i sit, unsure & uneasy & wait with the others. still young. still unwhole. still imperfect & still ready to be changed. i close my eyes & breathe deep. the hopeless romantic in me finds peace. no matter the distance or the differences, i know that when our eyes close we are all the same.