Flying is for the birds

This shit is so not my jam, but I am doing my best to be a normal traveler. I somehow got plucked out of a loooong line of people waiting to check bags for United by a skycap, which I thought were as extinct as dinosaurs. I’m so tired I almost forgot to tip him.

Judge not, etc. but about the only way I can deal with flying and the potential for an early death is via some sort of mind-alternating substance, so I had an LAX breakfast of bourbon and coffee and now I’m waiting to board.

This has been an amazing, heady trip. I have worked through a ton of baggage I’ve been carrying about Los Angeles since I left my Beverly Hills home in 1998 and came home to a town I can see the ends of without driving more than an hour, a town I can get my arms around and that has its arms around me, for better or worse; my dirty, gritty Cleveland.

I can see LA on its own terms now. It doesn’t love me, but it no longer hates me either, and I could visit it again, and not love or hate it either; a kind of truce. The buildings and sprawl no longer scare me, but neither do they welcome me. The ocean does not judge and lets me visit it, but holds a caution in its vastness and cold, craggy beaches: look, but be respectful; understand my power, respect my beauty; and I do. I did connect with the earth and the wind in a little ceremony at the top of a mind-blowingly beautiful beach mountain, with my gracious and gorgeous host who showed an open mind and heart to my weird. I needed that. I needed the whole goddamned trip, really.

To be completely disconnected from your life, obligations, job and timeline has a profound effect. I have renewed ideas and focus about my writing, my priorities, and while I am very tired, I feel mentally and emotionally rebooted. Which is good as the next couple of weeks will be a doozy.

Let’s get this fucking plane back to my rust belt. I have a bony boy who needs me to pick him up tomorrow.

Post-flight addendum: first time in a plane where turbulence tossed people waiting for the bathroom into seated passengers, myself included. So that was fun. But I survived. I am a survivor.

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