Monday, May 24, 2010


I've slept in my bed once in the last two weeks. As I write this, I am sitting in an airport somewhere around the Rockie Mountains waiting for another plane to take off to another place. I'm told travel is supposed to be exciting. Mostly by people who don't have to do it very much. They are stuck in their time zones and want nothing more than to escape. I understand this.

This is "It's a Wonderful Life", where George is jealous of everyone who gets to go someplace other than Bedford Falls. His brother is off at war and it seems exotic and cool. But if the hero of the story was Harry and not George, the story line would be a lot different and I'm sure Harry would rather be back home than he would going up in a plane everyday and trying to kill people before they killed him. Both story lines are understandable to us. The desire to escape. The desire to return. The Lord of the Rings is all about that... the urgent need to leave the Shire, followed by two books of wishing they could be back in the Shire. And no, Mandy, it doesn't make be a geek because I referenced Lord of the Rings in a blog.
Ok... maybe just a little.

My wife described her week ahead to me. "Drive here, do this, do that..." on and on. And she didn't sound very happy about it. It is a lot of moving from point A to point B, all in the service of someone else's schedule. There is cooking and cleaning and laundry and work and concerts and a large variety of other things that go on in the Shire that are the same as every other week. Her storyline has her trapped in this time frame forever... like Groundhog Day. "It will never change!" she wails. But it will, and then she might even miss it.

I know this travel stuff will change eventually. But for now it is my storyline. It is a little like the middle section of War and Peace. So I keep telling myself. If I slog through the doldrums for long enough I will get to the end of the book and it will feel worthwhile. It gets to a point where the place and the time are all relative. I'm not sure if I'm two time zones ahead? Or one behind. Or if I'm supposed to be eating lunch or dinner. You get up when the sun rises and work until it is long gone. And the beautiful and exotic things that surround me remain hidden as I never escape the terminal. There is a purgatory aspect to this sort of life. A myriad of faces, none of them known. None of them familiar. And so this hero in this story at this moment wishes for nothing more than familiarity and my own pillow.

They changed my gate again. Off to track down my next leg.

Over and out.


  1. You've got a shire when many people haven't nor ever will and you do what you do to keep things going back at the Shire so that when you drop back in all will be well. That makes you a hero as well.

  2. Purgatory is the perfect way to describe the travel you speak of...wishing you your own pillow soon.

    I so loved what Brown-eyed Girl said--I lost my shire for a misery. May you discover a deliciously empty weekend for you and your wife upon your return. (I suggest bribing baby-sitters and relatives to fill in for 48

  3. Oh, I so feel you. I don't miss those days. You're right, they're over before we know it...but in the meantime we're slaves to the delays and snarky flight attendants. And why is our gate ALWAYS the one all the way at the end? Travel Karma is the worst biatch ever.

  4. Hmm, I was stuck in purgatory in a different way for awhile. One of poverty and fear. Things got better. They will for you too.

  5. Hey!! How far are you from me??

  6. Yes... alas.. Seattle... actually south of Seattle, but done now. And we were so busy that I didn't even get to see Seattle, let alone go wandering up to Vancouver as I would have liked. The sucky part of this travel stuff is going but not seeing. Perhaps next time...