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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Shoeboxes


I fold my tray table down and rest my head on it like a grade school desk, then drape my black jacket over my head and shoulders creating a small cave for my brain to hide in. I turn my computer on to my latest favorite movie and string my headphones into the warm cave. My son's sleeping head rests against my spine like a heavy rock and I can feel him breathing deeply. His baby blanket barely covers him now. From inside my cave I can only see a sliver of the world peeking through the sharp edges of my metal zipper. I close my eyes and try to figure out what you meant when you called me a Blossom Baby last night. There've been thousands of miles between us this past week and I'm afraid it has permanently altered me. It's made me brutally honest and maybe a little bit braver.  I imagine the airplane leading into a wormhole that connects my former life to my present one. Both lives exist in separate shoeboxes that do not share even one single connecting thread. My former life seems to somehow continue existing without me, so I come and visit it a few times a year now. Things are eerily still the same there. I've just reached a decade anniversary with the people who still dwell there. The milestone caused us all to feel a little nostalgic and look at each other with sentimental eyes. Living between shoeboxes means that I'm always missing someone. It's so hard to imagine all of you meeting and mingling in one room. But someday it's going to happen (and I think we'll end up having a really great time).

The pilot makes a rhythmic landing and within an hour I'm in my own bed. But tonight I leave the baby with his grandma and sneak over to your place really late. You already look different after just a week away. We watch Thelma and Louise and you move your index finger back and forth on the top of my hand. I think that's your way of signaling that you've missed me. Later we whisper our hazy little secrets to one another and you end up talking to me like you never really have before. It feels like we are growing into a milestone of our own. I leave your place when the morning-birds are already chirping and I'm quite certain that I'll remember tonight for forever. I'm home.

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