This is pretty much how I start every conversation to any person anywhere right now. If you’re my grocer, you know I’m going to England in a few days. If you’re my pharmacist, my hair dresser, the lady who answers the phone for my hair dresser, my doctor, my kids’ doctor, my neighbor, my other neighbor, my neighbor’s dog: They all know I’m going to England in a few days.
I’ve nearly run up and down the streets naked screaming it.
“Nearly” being “thought about it once.”
I’m wild like that.
As I’ve travelled more in recent years, I am much more relaxed about plane travel. Mostly. I still grab a random stranger’s arm if the plane hits turbulence and still pray to physics that we don’t come crashing down because Daniel Bernoulli was really smoking weed when he came up with this principal and we’re all suckers for a good theory. At one point, during a horrifically bouncy ride from NY to Seattle, the young airplane mechanic in the seat next to me went in to great detail how safe flying is. He rattled off statistics and spouted off sayings such as “turbulence is just a bumpy road to an airplane,” and “the air is actually pushing the plane up, not down” and “hey, you don’t have to be in the crash position, lady.” I still think of him when the plane starts to race down the runway and I’m looking out the window thinking, “FASTER. WE ARE NOT GOING FAST ENOUGH. THERE IS NO WAY THIS THING WIL….” and I squeeze my eyes shut as the engine screams and we tilt up up until that pocket of time where your stomach dips in to your legs. (Seriously, every.time.) I’m usually the only person that looks up with glee like an unexpected surprise, “WE DIDN’T DIE!” while other people pretend to be really interested in the Sky Mall catalog.
So it is that I’m leaving for Manchester in six days. Six days until I head to EEUK. Six days until I remember I have a speech to finish. Six days until I try to have an international flight which does not end with me losing my voice or getting lost on trains. Six days until I get to see this group of nerds. Six days until my trip re-routes me to Holland again on my return flight where a lot of people speak dutch and I don’t.
Six days until I am back in the space of my existence that is beginning to feel as normal as breathing: going, doing, sharing, seeking, flying. Even if I still hardly believe it’s real.
**If you happen to be in the area, be sure to register for EEUK. You’ll want to be there. Seriously. Be sure to find me, I’ll be the one in the corner rocking back and forth prior to my speech muttering things about picturing the audience naked.
By Hilary Jones Viohl on 2011 08 16
Since I won’t be there to take care of you this time, will you please make sure to start eating your garlic NOW and drinking your Emergen-C as soon as you get on the plane?
By mrscamacho on 2011 08 17