Sliding exhausted out of Michelle’s black miniature SUV, barely able to focus my eyes after a weekend spent almost entirely awake, I was a bone palace ballet wrestling with an over-sized suitcase and a faulty, tired memory. Trying to be cohesive was like making bets in a burning house.
A flash of David’s fedora perched in the back of Robin’s car before the pretend Sisters of Mercy concert, Michelle and I trying to see, no evidence of people on stage, just lights stabbing through fog, a whole bottle worth of smoke juice drowning them out. Could have been a CD. No one would have known. Dancing later, taking the motorcycle with Joseph, talking relationships in Chinatown, it wasn’t there, I didn’t have it. Relief. Still in the car, safe in Seattle, more safe than this trip.
I was expecting SeaTac to be a mad as rabbits, bruising gauntlet of security questions and TSA horror stories. Instead Virgin Air smiled, took my bag, gave me candy coloured boarding passes like cheerful paint chips, and sent me to the gate without once asking for a passport while Security ignored me past the usual Put Your Stuff Inna Box and Walk This Doorway As We Wave A Wand. It felt nothing short of miraculous, as if I’d stepped back in time somewhere between the front doors and putting my shoes back on. Instead of wasting an hour tediously answering meticulous questions about unessential details of my life, suddenly I was free, soothed, out of the epilepsy lights of the dance club, away from everyone who might want something from me, curled on the floor with Cloud9Dream, pressed tight against a wall of window, watching night planes taxi in. Time to breathe. I felt like I was entering a new age, like on the other side of my flight was a birthday I had somehow missed.