I'm on my way back from the business trip, one flight down and two to go. I'm feeling a little trippy, both from tiredness and two glasses of wine (hours ago, nursed slowly). I caught a whiff of something in the tram from the A terminal to the S terminal tonight that reminded me of the New York City Subway, that same sort of rubbery smell mixed with fuel. It reminded me of how trusting it is to be in a place I've never been before, with nothing but a few slips of paper to guide me, and expect that I will end up in the place I'm supposed to be in the end. When I get home, it will be 16 hours from when I boarded my first flight. I've had it pretty easy this time, because I indulged in a pass to the fancy airport club room, where they give you free drinks, treat you like a princess, and help you get a better seat for your flight. The whole experience is pretty surreal for a working class girl from Toledo. I keep wondering whose life this is, anyway.
After reading the recommendation on Elastic Waist, I'm reading Thin is the New Happy, which I picked up at Powell's Books in the Portland airport. It's real food for thought. I grew up in a household where looks were emphasized too, not in a harping, shrill way like Frankel's experience, but as a wholly accepted article of faith: Fat women were unwanted, by men and everyone else. My parents weren't trying to be cruel, they just truly believed this and wanted us to be thin and therefore, happy. Unfortunately, our family genetics don't predispose us to be willowy, and neither did our eating habits, so my sisters and I have always struggled with our weight. I am only partway through the book, and looking forward to hearing how Frankel managed to find some peace with herself and her body, because I could sure use some of that. But somehow this reading seems wrong for today, which is so weird and abstract, and thinking about my body makes me feel too solid and heavy. I think it would have been more appropriate to read poetry, or philosophy, or something spiritual. Even the idea of happy sounds odd, in tonight's context. I'm feeling far from home, and a little lonely, but in a way that just feels right for flying: Being all alone makes me seem lighter somehow, and more suited for traveling through the air in the dark and hoping I'll land at home.