Sunday 23rd March 2014 @ 1:36 pm.
So, I’m sitting at John Wayne airport wishing my 3 p.m. flight would delay so Southwest will let me on the 12:40 p.m. flight for free. No way am I paying the one-hundred-something price difference. I want to go home. I want to get back to Colorado NOW NOW NOW but not that desperately. I mean, maybe if I wasn’t losing my income in two months (because I’m graduating and moving 2000 miles away from the school that graciously employees me with two jobs) and if my savings account wasn’t so pathetic (really, it’s bad–like bad-bad) and if I wasn’t twenty-two and planning for a Big Move that I have next to no savings for… maybe then I’d splurge to fast track my journey back home.
Well. Actually. No. I can’t imagine a situation in which I would pay the fee. Being saved from three hours of waiting isn’t worth a month of groceries. That would be silly.
My sister’s spring break also ends today. She had a flight back to Sacramento at noon. Thus, here I am, because it’d be lame for my parents to drive to the airport twice in one day. Initially, I was pissed–being forced to sit still for four hours. And I’m obviously still antsy, made evident by my delay wishing. But slowly, ever so gradually, I’m remembering that I like hanging out in airports. The limbo land. The white noise. The excuse to spend limited funds on expensive coffee and read indulgently and write with no dishes in the sink or bookshelves to re-organize or wood floors to sweep. Airports are quiet. Distraction free. Unless you consider people watching a distraction, which would be incorrect. People watching is soul-food. Necessary.
But I couldn’t sleep last night. How many times have I said/composed that line? I’ve been an insomniac since I was old enough to crawl out of my bed and knock on my parents door and cry on the floor because no matter how many calming nature CDs I listened to or sheep I counted, I just couldn’t sleep. My childhood shrink advised breathing exercises but they only made me anxious because I was always paranoid I wasn’t doing it right. I was put on sleeping pills at ten. I’m twenty-two now, so, you know, that’s over half of my life that I’ve been swallowing little tablets of chemicals in hopes of it getting my brain to shut the hell up. But even with the pills (and I take a plural of them every night), I still often only get a few hours of rest a night. And that’s fine. That’s cool. I deal. I know how to zombie/push through a day. I’ve become a pro. Here’s my secret: you get up and you do it, just get through the day.
Anyway, last night I couldn’t sleep. My duffle bag was packed, waiting, by the door. My parents’ guest bed deliciously soft and comfortable. My dog breathing soft beside me, while I was wide awake. I read. I cracked my back. I stretched. I listened to my Speed Sleep meditation track three times and rubbed lavender on my feet. And then, around three, I gave up and I opened my laptop and wrote. When I write after midnight, there’s no hope. By opening the page, I’m resigning to stay awake until sunrise. If I could, I would live a nocturnal schedule. Night is my prime time. Back in 2010, I had this neurology test done. They looked at the chemicals my brain releases through the day and night, and it turns out I’m all backwards. It’s around one in the morning that I get the jolt that the average human feels at ten. I’m in the most likely state to fall asleep around six, and then again around three in the afternoon. Thanks, brain, thanks. I’ve accepted this. The treatment to attempt to reverse the chemical release isn’t close to being covered by insurance, so I’ve accepted that sometimes I just won’t sleep. And thus, last night I wrote a few pages. And tried again, dozing off as my room slowly lit.
I’m not sure what my point is other than that I’m tired and that’s just fine.
Oh, look. The 12:40 p.m. flight just pulled back from the gate. It’s crawling out to the runway now, en route to Denver, leaving me behind. But, really, I don’t think I mind too much. Yeah, I’m tired and I want to get home, want to land in Colorado so I can get the two hour drive south over with and roll into Colorado Springs with enough day left to pick up groceries and unpack and do my laundry and shower and sleep excessively before Block 7–my final thesis block–kicks off and I have to rush to class, rush to ballet, rush to my Writing Center meeting, rush to the my fellowship meeting, rush to finish this thesis thing. But I can wait a few more hours. I can sit here and listen to the kids dancing around the glassed-in sculptures of John Wayne’s mini art gallery, their shoes skidding across the marble floor. I can read my book and I can write my book. I can sit and watch the morning’s fog slowly burn off to reveal Orange County’s smog-blurred blue sky. I’m okay. I need to be forced to stop rushing. Because listen, I graduate (from anything for the first time) in less than two months. In less than two months, I’m already back in California, paranoid about the fault lines, done with the silly golden dream I had in 2011–to attend Colorado–and trying to sort out I feel about the last three years.
Seriously though, what happened? Am I not still in Humboldt pining for the Admission Office to let me in, to just fucking let me into CC? Did I not just receive my acceptance package, curtesy of Fed-Ex Air, and am I not still sobbing that they did it, that they actually let me in? Did I not just drive twenty-two hours through California and Arizona and New Mexico and up into Colorado? Am I not just running through my first block, History of Modern Philosophy, flailing, failing, eventually succeeding? How can it be that I’m no longer fourteen, that I’m not waiting to board my first flight from John Wayne Airport to Denver International, an unaccompanied minor, excited to see Pikes Peak for the first time, excited for the unknown, with the no clue of the impact that that single flight would have on my life?
Obviously I’m something of a mess these days. No biggie. I’m simply trying to remind myself to slow down and acknowledge these little moments.These absurdly decadent little moments.
There it goes. Southwest’s 12:40 p.m. direct flight to Denver just sprinted down the runway and lifted, shooting up and over the Pacific, where it’ll turn around and charge east, over the Grand Canyon, over the frosty Rockies, eventually landing in the pale yellow plains of Colorado. And here I am, left frozen, watching it fade into the smoggy fog through the airport glass. But that’s okay. I’m only a few hours behind. I can wait.
(Oh, and for the record, my flight was indeed ultimately delayed twenty minutes… twenty minutes after the 12:40 flight took off. And so it goes. I made it to Denver by sunset. Happy day.)