For a week or so leading up to my trip to Michigan, friends and family have all attempted to pull some indication of excitement from me. True, I did say that I was excited, but I never really felt it. It isn't like I regretted my decision. NOT AT ALL. It was just that I was never fully possessed by the rush of excitement. I knew to look forward to the the challenge, but my heart wasn't in it, until now.
The older, black, gentleman who sat next to me on our tiny NWA plane does not enjoy flying. "It's a necessity," he said to the back of the seats in front of us, "It isn't something you enjoy."
He mentioned rising oil prices, and the snacks and drinks that aren't free on the plane. (I definitely wouldn't have minded a complimentary vodka tonic. Too bad.) He said, though, that it was just out of the question to drive all over the country now, as he turned the wheel of an invisible steering wheel in front of him. His distant, dark eyes were trained on a dusty road ahead of him, steering a stylish station wagon with a couple cool cats to one coast or another in search of employment or nirvana.
"When you're young like you are, someone just says 'Hey! Let's get in the car and drive here!' Or, it's two in the morning and you decide to just go."
I smiled and shook my head to acknowledge I was guilty of that. It reminded me of some rather inspired nights in the Hill Country. This gentleman was obviously too wise for such inspiration, now. He was seasoned, and wearing a seersucker suit with light blue stripes. He read through the New York Times and a European financial newspaper. Posh.
He did remember to ask me, some time later, if I enjoyed flying. Emphatically, I replied, “I love it.” This was lost on him. I could tell by the way he nodded in the direction of the seats in front of us again. It's too bad, because I was actually fully engaged in the moment, breathless to be up in the air.
Later, as the sun was setting, far away, tucked between horizontal clouds of ember and fuchsia, I could not resist remarking in his direction, “We must be part of someone's sunset!” Unfortunately, his deep wrinkles must have soaked up the sound of my words before they could settle into his hearing aid, because he just “Ummphed,” in reply.
Secret adventure peeking in the sunset, alluding the day by a few stretches of yawning dusk memories, consider hiding somewhere where I might happen upon you this summer. Perhaps behind a sharp blade of blue grass, or under a violet pebble as heavy as the ocean at nighttime. Consider nestling inside a rusty locket, hooked to a charm bracelet spilling out of the mouth of a hot-breathed tiger. Perhaps grow inside of a poisonous mushroom, mistakenly knocked on its head by the unstoppable mighty movement of a charming bare foot running for Frisbees. Perhaps when I stretch my arms in front of my line of vision, grasping the sun in one fist—jumping, reaching for the firm tennis ball barreling toward me, you—new and secret adventure-- will settle into my grip instead.