There’s something weird about air travel, about the physical movement of bodies through space, about hours spent given up for lost, peering out oval windows or staring at little TV screens or trying to sleep or trying to get comfortable enough to sleep. If you’re lucky enough, you close your eyes in one state and open them to find the scenery completely changed. There are brown mountains underneath you or the giant gaping mouth of the Grand Canyon that the pilot points out with a certain amount of pride, like he had something to do with its crafting. Dust-blue lakes and plots of faded green squares of earth.
This is my last stretch of time in Edinburgh.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t want to come back.
I’ve been sick and I’ve felt worn out around the edges, thin and stretched and tired. I woke up last Tuesday morning to a foreign, queasy body. I spent twenty minutes watching the digital clock tick numbers off and finally got up to puke with all the lights out, trying not to wake S. He found me on the couch a half hour later, legs pulled up to my chest, eyes squinted shot.
I thought I heard something, he said.
I think I’m sick.
We heard about the bombing on the way home from Palm Springs, sitting in a gas station so S could fill up and buy Diet Coke and Cool Ranch Doritos. We watched the injured count rise; I tried to avoid the photos of bloodstained sidewalks.
I don’t want to go back, I told him later.
Just think of it this way, he said. We ate Swedish fish on the walk back from the frame store. He left me all the red ones. You can’t start the process of coming home unless you go just one more time.
More inspirational words have never been spoken, I think, while biting the heads off little gummy fish.
photographs taken on Calton Hill in Edinburgh with a Minolta X-700
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