Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Crying Game

UntitledI just pulled the oldest trick in the book on my dog. We walked around the block with R and Bu and when we came to their house I handed off the leash quietly, threw a handful of treats into the front yard and just kept on walking. It was R's plan and it was a good one but you always feel like a little bit of a heel doing it, you know?

I head for Chicago tomorrow, a fun trip, and yet I've been on the verge of tears all day. I've cuddled all the animals and given them treats and tried not to drip too much salt on their coats. This is just my MO. I like traveling, I like exploring new places, I love seeing my friends but there is always this trepidation. It keeps me from packing, from buying tickets, from fully committing to the fun times until I'm properly gone. I think it might be a couple of things.

Back when I didn't have a ton of money for travel I basically only left town to go to funerals. I had a run on funerals one year and traveled far, far beyond my means. I developed a pattern of crying while packing, crying while driving, and then going straight to the funeral home. Maybe I'm conditioned to the crying.

Untitled Just after 9/11 my mother urged me to take a break and come stay with her. I had a visceral reaction to the invitation. I didn't have a job, I was getting one channel on my TV, and yet my gut said, "Don't go!" Later I parsed the feelings and realized that I was afraid that if I left "they" wouldn't let me come back. Whole chunks of the city were cordoned off, we didn't know from day to day which public transportation would be going where, we didn't even know when regular businesses were going to open up again. Maybe I never got over the feeling that if I leave at the wrong moment it'll be the last time I see the city I love.

So when I leave I watch carefully out the window of the car on the way to the airport, even if I'd rather read. Despite an honest fear of heights I also keep my eyes on the little pane of double strength plastic as the plane takes off and banks out over Manhattan. It comforts me to burn the image of the town into my brain while I head off to new adventures.

I'm excited to get on the road tomorrow. I can't wait to see Dionysas and Seth and Elephant Soap and, you know, Chicago. First, though, I probably need to cry a little.


  1. I love visiting new places and friends but I am a wreck when I get home and the cat snubbing doesn't help. Homer is all "I've done without you this long" but after a day or a few hours he succumbs to the siren call of lap and petting. A little bacon or cream cheese does wonders for him in shortening the snubbing time.