I want to play once more before I start two weeks without an instrument, but my sister is asleep. I want to buy books for the trip, but Mechanical Turk people are not rushing to pay me. A guest-blogging post, which will hopefully go out to my largest audience yet, is on the editor’s desk. I will not sleep properly nor stop fidgeting until it goes up. My family is doing what my car does when I try to do ninety on the rural Georgia highways: complaining, struggling, and overheating from the strain. My response should be as follows:
The image is a screenshot of a tweet. The avatar is a masked child, a little girl with paper covering her face. The author of the tweet is Mary Stimming, @LeeLeeSass. The tweet is dated 110 February and reads: ‘I know freaking out is your hobby, but seriously, try not to freak out. (water flowing over the side of the tub)’
The family friends’ ill-behaved eight-year-old is a great, little honey badger. In most areas of life, so am I. I tromp through the world in boots and that awful coat playing tuba, raising hell, and somehow making good grades. This was the year I gave up my personal policy against being seen with alcohol in public, the year when my single room meant it was okay if I occasionally passed out fully clothed when studying and online quarrels kept me up until awful hours. From regular haircuts to any certainty about whether my car would run, I let things go.
International travel is not terribly stressful. I am almost a nomad. I live more in my car that anywhere else. I can lay my head in Durham, Decatur, Atlanta, Chicago, Boone, Deep Gap, Johnson County and call it home. While I am not quite Texan enough to live there, the broad, open landscapes of the Southwest feel comfortable, too. I am content with the tight-cornering sedans of city streets and dodging them on foot, trans-oceanic jets and horses. I am proud that I can ignore the gas and breaks the last mile into Aho Gap, coasting steadily through strategic use of the transmission. I must have absorbed it from my grandfather without knowing it as a child. If anything, flying is easier. I read, eat chocolate. Someone else tries not to crash, pure luxury.
This is how I take off for another continent thirty pounds under the baggage weight limit, stressed but not by the trip, while my family panics. It is also why I strategically procrastinate, running some errands at the last second. It is not disorganization. It is a calculated plan to have urgent business out of the house.