When there was no chance I could get close to it, everything seemed easy to love
When an article perfectly captures your life..
When there was no chance I could get close to it, everything seemed easy to love. During that time when I lived in airports, I was bright and irresponsible, fun to be around, terrible to get close to. I made grand, stupid, impulsive decisions and never worried that I would have to account for them because I knew I could leave. Without an address, a routine, a set return of the day to the same places and people—the growing familiarity that accumulates when one makes a home—I never had to stay to watch my choices drop into consequences. I skimmed over the surface of love and permanence, connection and loyalty. I knew I had an escape hatch, that I had not just the ability but the obligation to run away—it was quite literally my job. I left projects unfinished and ghosted people as I allowed the narcotic rush of another plane’s takeoff to drown out the nagging voices that might have pulled me back to the things I had promised and then forgotten. If we are the things we accumulate—our loves, our fears, our habits—then getting on a plane divests us of everything to which we are accountable
Building a life is the process of accumulating permanent things, of making choices from which we have no escape, of repeating the same patterns until they come to define us. We do this mostly in a few same repeated spaces and those spaces gather consequence like a smell. Travel allows the pretense that we could be rewritten, that there are no actions that can’t be taken back and nothing that can’t be shrugged out of like a jacket.
So much of love is agreeing to be constantly seen, to be present again and again, to let another person’s failings matter as much as one’s own do. In the face of all that I understand the impulse to disappear.
Other people are from beginning to end a massive inconvenience. That’s what we agree to, from answering a DM, to going on a date, to moving in with someone, to getting married, we are saying, I agree to be inconvenienced by you. I agree to let you make things partial and absent and lacking, to carve out spaces where you fit and leave them empty when you go, to make it matter whether or not I come home, to give up the times when I step out of a party to text you, the times when I stay where the wifi is until I know your plane has landed.
Airplanes knock us, chemically, into a higher emotional gear. It is easier to cry on a plane, easier to feel things. One’s blood pressure literally rises. But also the structure of air travel, which is entirely beginnings and endings, ratchets up emotion