Thursday, May 15, 2008

take off

In shorts?
It’s warm outside.
You’re flying to Paris. It’s not warm in Paris.
I’ll change in Paris.

He changed on the bus from Madison to Chicago. Not because he was convinced of the rightness of this step, but, most likely, because he wanted me to shut up. There is only so much of the Nina lecture on American arrogance abroad that one can take.

In truth, I don’t really think that wearing shorts (jean shorts no less!) demonstrates that you are a banner child for ideologies about imperialism and nationalism and who knows what, but I find that traveling with Ed really tests my longstanding ideas about when and why you should attempt to fit in. If people take on roles in a relationship, Ed has taken on the role of the person who has his own internal compass, while I carry the compass of the world around us. Neither of us is willing to admit that there is a middle ground out there.

Now, we are sitting in the lounge at O’Hare, eating up every bit of free food that is offered here and I wonder if this is really why I so rigorously adhere to airline loyalty. For a free glass of champagne and a chicken sandwich?

All this to say that I love travel because it makes me understand all the ways in which I am just one grain in the human Sahara of life.

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