The last couple days have been a blur. One more project. Last minute requests from clients. With every item checked off the list, I became evermore resolved that I must get away, far, fast and free. Between writing and creating, my mind would wander hesitantly to Southeast Asia and I would without conscious thought reach for my list. “Pack” was the finish line and my passage to sleep. Check marks. Remember this. Remember that. Must haves.
I finally left my desk at 1:00 am in the morning on Tuesday. I had to override the Nest thermostat a number of times as it kept telling me to get under the covers from a sudden chill in the air through the house. I persevered. Finally rising from my desk chair, I cleaned out the ice box, took out the trash, threw one last load in the washer and stood staring at my new suitcase, tags draping from the handle like a checker flag. I gently removed the tags by unweaving the string and listened with joy to the brief symphony of the zipper as I opened it for the first time. 1:30 am.
Now the mental leap: leave the rainy, chilly (50s-60s) winter in Northern California to 90s-plus and humid in Asia. Shorts. Tropical air. Hot. Ah yes, mosquitoes.
I threw clothes in the suitcase and climbed into bed. 2:30 am. I awoke to the ding of my phone an hour and a half later. My son was parked out in my driveway to take me to the airport. (What a kid.) 30 minutes later I was pushing my suitcase down the hall and out the front door. This was happening. Finally I let my mind go, unfettered and without restraint.
My kid talked my ear off all the way to the airport. It was a most perfect drive. He dropped me at the curb of International United as I exclaimed… look, Asian people… just follow them (smile), gave me a hug and told me to remember to come back. I will try. Inside the International terminal beautiful decorated for Christmas, I made my way to the self-help counter, and checked in without incident.
I peered down at the weight of my suitcase; 43.7 lbs. and under the 50 lb. limit that was sending the less astute to a kiosk to buy a last minute suitcase to divide the excess. I then remembered the travel and reading books sitting on my desk back home. Disappointing, but, oh well. And about those mosquitoes…. I’m sure I can buy DEET in Asia, cause Join Mitchell music didn’t make it here, right?a
After having a small bagel and Acai juice in the United lounge, I took off for my gate and boarded without wait.
The 2-story Dreamliner 787 is not of this earth. Seat number 4 is a most beautiful perch to watch the Pacific Ocean glide by as I gazed from across the aisle. The windows do not have shutters but darken or lighten with a touch. For some reason, the cast of the windows make the sky outside look like Disney blue… the blue in the Mexican Pavilion overlooking the volcano from the restaurant where the Pirates of the Caribbean ride cuts a path. The lavatory doors glide in, flush and water are sensor-activated. The lavs are roomy and include a “stretch” bench. I laughed to myself as I noted the same-old paper towel dispenser that still comes out in pieces when pulled with wet hands. Next model. Smile.
The air in the plane is amazing. Whatever the secret sauce is with the pressurization, I’ve already slept quite soundly for about 3 hours (after a wonderful lunch of something Japanese of which I only recognized the sushi—delish). It was a most delightful sleep and I see we will be in Narita (Tokyo, Japan in 4 hours or so).
I’m on my second movie and life is good. I see they are preparing dinner. I shall suffer without my books, somehow, someway. I think spontaneity will season this trip more than anything else.