A bluebird, on my rib. My mom’s handwriting, on my back. A plane ticket, in my hand. More stamps in the passport, in my pocket. A friend by my side, running across the airport with me.
A new destination, a new place to use our education to help those in need.
Maybe this time we’ll be in Nicaragua, rooting out the political corruption.
Or maybe we’ll be in Cairo, negotiating refugee treaties.
Maybe we’ll be on a return flight home, to wherever home may be.
That very particular scent of airports, on busy nights. Perfume, my own. Laundry detergent, the same one I’ve always used. Also, the scent of two people who have been in the sun all day, helping somewhere.
These scents will become familiar.
The scent of the airport will smell like home.
Dramamine, the taste of rotten oranges.
Airplane food, the butt of so many bad jokes, actually tastes as bad as they say.
Mint gum, to get rid of the taste of the two mixed together.
Tomato juice, the flight attendant tells me how my taste buds change in the air,
I sit back, enjoy my tomato juice, and fall asleep.
At peace, 30,000 feet above the world
Carrying a duffle bag in my hand, fingers turning red and cramping.
The feel of linoleum, or whatever 2028 airport floors are made of, under my feet.
Running to catch my flight. The relief of sitting in those awkwardly carpeted seats.
Shaking hands with the flight attendants, the feel of the plane engine rumbling.
The sound of people chatting before and after takeoff.
The token screaming baby, the parents apologizing.
The flight attendants thanking us for flying whatever airline we were on this week.
Chatting with the people in the seat next to you about what you’re doing in the next place.
Happiness. Pure happiness.
The joy of looking out at the clouds, feeling like I’m on top of the world.
I am at peace with myself, I am fulfilling what I was made to do.
What my soul thrives on.
Who I am as a person has been discovered.
All 30,000 feet above the world.