I leave for Utah today and I can't think about anything else. I'm plagued with worries. Traveling sucks, in a way. I don't mind the part where you're on the road or in the plane, but everything leading up to that time is rather stressful. All I can think about is getting to the airport on time, or being certain I've packed everything -- as we all know, if you forget something the trip will dissolve into a nightmare. Not really, but with the way I obsess you'd think that was the case.
In other people's lives, I'm sure that traveling is really smooth. Other people appear unruffled. These are also the kind of people who never pass gas or do the dishes or put their pants on one leg at a time. They walk through the airport with their laptop bag slung over their shoulder, their suits are neatly pressed, they exude confidence. They hang out with their peers at the airport bar, drinking and laughing like a beer commercial. Their teeth glimmer when they smile, their eyes are bright and sparkly and photoshopped. Everything is easy. Everything is good. Before the trip they have a manservant pack their bags for them. They know if they forget all their pants or socks, they'll just buy a new wardrobe. No big deal. A limo picks them up and takes them to the airport on a private back road. They can charter a helicopter if traffic is monstrous.
At least, this is how it looks from the outside. There's always people running around the airport who you'd think could never afford a ticket. They look like they just rolled out of a garbage can. There seems to be a windstorm of chaos following in their wake. You see them and expect to find loose newspapers trailing behind them and cookie crumbs stuck to their sweater. They look like they couldn't decide whether to travel comfortably, in their sweats, or business casual, in their freshly ironed sweats. You pass them as they sit in the McDonald's of the airport food court munching on fries and they look as harried as someone forced from bed at three in the morning to pick up their son who just got a DUI.
I fit into the harried crowd. I look like I've had second thoughts about my carry-on, like I wish I'd checked it after all. I look like I'm always just about to miss my plane and I'm lost and I can't read the sign announcing my gate. I don't wear sweats, but I'd be at home in them and everyone knows it and the flight attendants always ask if I want a blanket and a pillow as though they suspect I might have my own in that carry-on I've been sneering at the whole time. That would be wise, actually, since the blankets have been used by other passengers and who knows what diseases they were carrying. Small pox. Measles. Something like that.
Wish me luck.