Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On a Jet Plane


T minus 5 days until I'm getting the "F" out of town for a little while...
I do this from time to time. I lock down the valuables and make like a tree. The only way to describe it is that I suffer from the worst possible constricting sense of social-spiritual claustrophia, so that every couple of months, I just need to air out. I do it so that people miss me. Or maybe so that I miss them? Hmm...I'm yet to find a bed that I particularly miss, but I do like the feeling of eventually finding my way home.

I find that I am most calm when I am in motion. I don't need to drink on airplanes. I also don't mind flight delays or lay-overs. I always get there, and even sometimes, for my patience with the saintly people of the airline industry, I get to enjoy the benefits of good karma and first class upgrades.

But more than this, there's just something deeply placating in having a destination for a day. Not a decade. Not a lifetime. Just a day. It's fulfilling to simply take a day (sometimes more) out of life to sit very still and yet be completely aware of everything taking place around me. The only obligation, responsibility, or sense of crushing routine I have is to occassionally make friends with a single-serving neighbor seated to my left or right. (Sometimes both.) Or make faces with the tempermental 3-year-old across the isle. Usually, though, I don't talk a whole lot to anyone. I just sit and observe. I watch myself being observed, too. Because that's what people do when they travel.

I always end up writing, too. My best stuff has worked its way out on trains and airplanes. Foreign coffee shops help with this process, too. I liken the whole thing to a drug experience. In one afternoon spent under the veil of anonymity in a place free of all obligations, I can sit and watch humanity float by and make cave woman attempts at figuring out all of life's wonderful riddles. Of course, I forget any and all conclusions once I get to the bottom of my latte, but that's ok. Later on, I'll look at some of the drawings and scribbles I've made and realize that it's not about getting to the final point of anything at all. Rather, it's simply about the journey.

My destination this time? New York City, lovelies. A great domestic escape for the extrovert-inclined. I try to get up there at least once a year, but haven't spent the holidays in the City since I was a kid. A dear friend of mine is letting me use her amazing apartment in the Upper West Side for my personal amusement while she is off celebrating the holiday somewhere on the Continent with her latest squeeze. I will be loving up her two beautiful cats, taking my long runs along the river, visiting with friends and family, relaxing, reading, indulging in lots of bubble baths in her over-sized, claw foot bathtub, and probably writing much more as a result of this. Good friends will be there, too. My little social calendar is filling up, which is nice. And the Bro is coming up for the main Christian holiday thingy as well. In addition to family-bonding, we will be doing a lot of walking, drinking, eating at fine restaurants and generally participating in the rounds of social and cultural elitism that only NYC can offer. The Bro will try not to squeal too loudly in public when we pass through the new Tiffany stained glass exhibit at the Met that he wants to see, and I will attempt to keep a firm grip on my euphoric glee for Klee at the MoMa.

T minus 5...
...and counting...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

fly

I-66 said...

I guess our paths will have to cross another time ;)

Kathryn said...

Treat yourselves to Trattoria Malatesta in the Village - Washington & Christopher I think. VERY Italian, very delicious.

Namaste said...

I-66...it'll happen one day! :) Like I said, I don't think the city is big enough for the two of us! ;)

Kat, great suggestion. I will investigate! Can't wait to see you there!

hungry said...

I thought I was the only one who got all zen about travelling - that it is the journey that counts, not just the destination.

Have fun!!!

Namaste said...

thanks!

VJ said...

Geez, I've got a relation who just got kicked out, er.. removed from her rent controlled apartment on the Upper West Side after 25 years due to a 'owner occupied' condo conversion. She's now forced to decamp in Brooklyn. But NYC for Christmas? It's like Christmas central on the East Coast! Nothing says X-Mas like touring those great shops, and seeing everyone bustle by. Have fun & enjoy your stay! Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'