#068: airborne

i’ve always liked airports but they have a funny feeling to them

when we were studying boey kim cheng’s another place for a’s and we were so obsessed with the idea of liminality and liminal spaces the airport/any sort of transport terminal seemed to be the pinnacle of this – you are caught between two places like a balloon held aloft in the air but everything, everything has to land eventually

and you are either going to somewhere or coming back from somewhere else and this always challenges the idea of home and what that means to each person and i don’t like the idea of my home flying twenty-two hours across the ocean

[this is a terrible hyperbole you are not my home you cannot be my home it’s been just under four months since i’ve met you and i cannot possibly be this attached already]

but i am and it’s ridiculous how sad i was when it was time for you to check in and i know i didn’t linger and look and wave at you and smile one last time before we were separated by a sea of tourists but i really just couldn’t stand being in that moment anymore, i was so overwhelmed

i don’t even know exactly what i was feeling but i just know that the thought of you being gone makes me want cuddles but i only want them from you but you are two hours into a fourteen-hour flight to frankfurt for your layover and any contact will have to wait twenty-five days and this isn’t even going to be as bad as summer break next year but i already miss you

i feel like we cheated winter break somehow by having you go to malaysia and come stay at my house for a day and a half before finally finally finally flying back to your family in georgia but it’s not enough it’s never enough we spent almost thirty-six hours straight together and i loved every minute of it

but anyway enough of this sappy bullshit back to the strangeness of airports

between arrival and departure halls i guess departure halls are stranger i mean

arrival halls just have happy families or half-of-a-wholes waiting and preening and cheering and crying for their loved ones who have returned, who have flown over the sea twice in an impossible metal tube and survived and come back safe and sound just like they promised but

departure halls are full of uncertainty and the thrumming sensation of leaving something behind and the coalesced excitement/anticipation/anxiety of a couple hundred people getting ready to risk their lives breathing the same air in a container in the sky and departure halls are teary goodbyes and hugs that will never be long enough and the feeling of losing something while gaining something else and you will be stuck in the security line wondering if the payoff is worth it and

this strangeness is only magnified when you’re stuck like an observer on the other side of the glass instead of getting your passport and boarding pass and rolling your luggage down travelators in duty-free

what i’m trying to say is it’s always difficult to leave something/someone/somewhere you love; and farewells are more painful when the almost-‘i-love-you’s hang in the air and suffocate you as if they’re tangible and real

and i hope you come back safe to me because i will be spending the next twenty-two hours worrying.

x Natasha



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