things used to be different, it used to tear me up to leave places and people i love. but these days it is happening so often i almost don’t have time to be upset. a friend told me not long ago that i’ve grown a second skin, that there is a hardness to my eyes now. if i was as naive and sensitive as i used to be, i know i wouldn’t be able to do this. instead of thinking about what i am leaving, i think about what i am coming to. it’s all an adventure.
i could hear the taxi honking it’s horn on the street so i left, the door closing and locking behind me. there were eight flights of concrete steps to the ground and my suitcase was more than half my weight, heavy with all the books and presents for my family and lover. i was scared of missing the taxi which would mean missing my flight so i tried to move quickly but i could only lift it one step at a time. on the third floor the weight put me off balance and i fell down the steps until i hit the landing. i lay there for at least a minute. everything was quiet but the taxi and it’s incessant honking.
i felt like each was going to be the last and i was going to miss my flight. i felt bruised all over and i kept saying matt under my breath like he would suddenly appear and look after me and love me. but i was completely alone. my tights were wet with blood and the fall had ripped through my dress. i was softly shaking. i hated myself for thinking i could do this on my own, i just wanted to be home with him again, safe.
when i moved all my bones hurt but i tried again, more slowly now. everytime i lifted the suitcase i felt like my knees were splitting open. a lady with dogs came up the steps and saw me struggling and asked if i needed help. i tried to say no, i’m fine but my voice broke halfway through and i started sobbing and said i’d fallen and i was hurting. she told me to wait at the bottom with her dogs and slowly she brought my suitcase down. i said thankyou many times and she smiled. the taxi driver almost spat when she talked to me but i didn’t care that she was mad because i was in the taxi and i wouldn’t miss my flight and in a month i would see matt and he would kiss all my cuts and bruises better. i realised in the taxi i’d forgotten my phone but i didn’t care about that either, i’m always leaving something behind and it’s better my phone than my camera or journal.
now i am at the los angeles international airport. it reminds me of a large, mostly empty hospital. you’re trapped in here and forced to pay $15 for a sandwich. but the last few minutes flying over were beautiful, there were fireworks exploding in the sky below and i listened to vashti bunyan sing ‘here before’ and couldn’t wait to take my children flying. in 20 or so hours i will be in melbourne, back to the warmth. and soon after sydney and after that, home. on christmas day matt will fly to me and we’ll finally be together again. everything is always okay, and if it isn’t, it will be.