where are my brains

My apprehension is on fire, reaching out to confuse my generally pragmatic self. Tonight I will get home, try to relax with David, have a brief panic, and eventually give in to a clockwork pattern of getting up every five minutes to try and make sure I remembered everything I made a mental note to pack. Then my mother will arrive, slightly late, while I am in the middle of tearing something apart, and drug me into amicability with chocolate. Our things will be put into her van, we may or may not stop somewhere for road food, and then we will go.

Ten blocks will go by before I remember that I have left either my plane ticket or required ID on top of a flat surface somewhere in my room, and another fifteen blocks will go by before I remember that I’ve forgotten something essential to do with either the camera or the laptop. After that, we will be like an arrow, off to Seattle in the dark. At the border we will make jokes about holding on to contraband, while hoping they don’t search the truck and find the Kinder Eggs we’re smuggling for Robin’s party. Around then I will remember that I’ve left Robin’s number at home, right next to where that pesky other thing had been. We will decide it’s probably just in my bag and continue on, but we’ll be wrong.

In Bellingham, it will rain so hard the roads will collapse, and I will miss my plane on Monday, recovering in an American hospital that charges me for the air I breathe.

Nonsense clear in my head, put there solidly by my worried, idiot heart. Nonsense and things that have happened before but are unlikely to ever happen again. I know this trip will completely different then the last time I went to California. It can’t not be. I will not be stranded. I will not be neglected. Nothing will flood. (Related to that, I will not get caught in another mud-slide.) I will not be attacked by yet another damned wild animal while camping. I will not be kidnapped by yet another dangerous religious fanatic. I will not get trapped on the train for seven hours because of a suicide. I will not accidentally walk into Compton on my first day in Los Angeles.

Not only will my trip by fun, it will be fine. This time I have friends there. I am connected. I have a network, a safety net, multiple places to stay. Tonight we will remember everything irreplaceable, get clean across the border, and collapse into our plans/friends in Seattle with joy. On Monday morning, I will be exhausted, but will make my early morning flight. I won’t get off the plane to find myself abandoned by a car crash, Lung and Natasha will meet me there. Vegas will be exotic yet completely familiar from television, terrific and fascinating. When we leave for the Salton Sea, our drive will be all sing-alongs to favourite songs, fruit juice, bad jokes, and photography in the desert. When it is time to go to sleep, we will lie down on the cold ground, miles away from anything, and the stars at night will be so clear as to make me catch my breath.

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