July 21, 2016

Unhappy Familiar

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Unhappy Familiar

It is becoming too familiar for me—the slow space of airports, people watching, the shuffle onto the big metal flying contraption, tucked in with other travelers like cattle. I move in a hazy gait, hearing the screaming child, the loud woman complaining into her phone, pulling a family apart. The cacophony does not process.

Every time I leave Milwaukee the plane takes a piece of my soul. I move away from roads woven into my veins, from familiar stomping grounds with my family’s memory stamped into the damp earth and squeaky floorboards. Even the lights from towns south of the city glow as my own, as I claim the land and all its inhabitants.

How could I be myself in two different places? How could I give to the people I so desperately want to reach when I am continuously being cut in half? Routine of the unhappy familiar—the journey holds on autopilot.

The chair is warm from a previous passenger. I shift beneath the seatbelt and pore over the silhouettes outside the window. The men who wave the plane into motion.


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