PART ONE:
The night before it’s impossible to sleep. There’s all this thinking about the hours and days to come. Is there a plan? Is there the necessity for a plan? Is a plan even going to make a difference? We know what’s going to happen, but do we really know what is going to happen? It all just rolls around and around in my head.I dislike flying. A lot.

Actually, I don’t like taking off and I don’t like landing, but I’ve heard they are an essential part of flying. So, I cringe and squeeze my eyes shut and clench the armrest, and pull up, pull up, PULL UP! (Shit, I said it out loud again didn’t I?)Finally we’re off the ground, and banking away from home.I’m asleep before the juice cart comes around, my kindle open, my eyes closed. Possibly drooling, I’ve never been able to check, being asleep and all. I sleep all the way to Detroit.

As we circle, the seat belt light comes on, and our steward insists we stow our tray tables and return our seats to the upright position. (I never actually left the upright position, too busy being asleep.) We’ve lined up on approach, and I try, I try so hard NOT to look out the window to see where the runway is. Closing the window shade makes no difference; the window shade in front of me is always up, and I can always tell. We’re too close, we’re too fast, we’re not going to make to the ground, I can tell. I plant my feet, I grab the armrests and pull… nose up, nose up, NOSE UP! (Damn, I hate when that happens twice in the same flight, people notice.) Finally, we’re on the ground, and the pilot, I swear to god, is wearing out the brakes. This doesn’t particularly bother me since it reminds me of my father’s driving.

I change planes and it starts all over again. However, once we’re in the air, I stay awake long enough to eat the leftover pizza I brought from home. I do love wrecking a good in-flight meal with the smell of real food. Now I can doze comfortably between paragraphs of that book I promised I’d finish before I have to land the plane.

I’m here, and no, I have not finished the last fricking ten pages. But there’s time. There’s lots of time. There will be more than enough time over the next three days as we drive east.

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