At first, I mis-typed this title “Three from the Archies.” But no, I’m not so cruel as to subject you to the Archies.
***1. Sunday, September 24, 2006:
It was a rough week for Miss Beck.
Monday, I was struck by a sudden, penetrating loneliness. I’m not a person who ever gets lonely, so I didn’t know how to handle the situation. I desperately needed a hug, but I’m not on hugging terms with many people— which is what happens when you refuse to make friends. I seriously considered hugging strangers in the computer lab. Rejecting this idea, I decided to bake brownies instead. (Food = love, right? Right?) The brownies were a flop, though, earning me the distinction of creating the First Failed Brownies in History. And they said it couldn’t be done!
Tuesday, my steady, professional facade broke down at school and I had to hide in the bathroom between classes, sobbing and wailing. I felt absolutely useless, worthless and unlovable.
Wednesday — actually, Wednesday was good, and Thursday night was great. It would make a better story if my home burst into flames, but I’m striving for accuracy.
Finally, long-awaited Friday arrived— R., B., D., and I packed our bags and took a trip to Carlsbad, where they all have family. After a few weeks of doing little but homework, I suddenly had the chance to talk all night, taste excellent food, voyage into the famous Caverns, whack B. multiple times, explore impressive playgrounds, meet a new family, listen to the prophet, test some cosmetic samples, laze around, and rethink my future. I failed to play with Lego or the air hockey table, which was foolish of me. I succeeded in eating quite a few M&Ms, which was equally foolish, but fun.
Having a weekend away made me feel worlds better about life. I haven’t felt that happy in months. Easily six, maybe twelve. My sense of adventure is reawakened. Now all I have to do is 1) live through the monotony of school and 2) chart a new adventure. The life, she is good.
Editor’s note: Whack B. multiple times??? What on earth?
***2. A Sunset seen from our roof in New Mexico, May 2012:
***3. Notes from my first overseas flight, July 2012
Yes, world, I’ve managed to leave North America before age thirty. Glory be. Wasn’t sure I’d ever pull this off.
6:30 AM: Have I ever told you that I usually sleep until 10? Of course not, you’d realize what a boneless sloth I am! But it’s true: I stay up until 2, then sleep through the coolest part of the day. But today, I’m slouching groggily through the house with a To Do list: take out trash, pack snacks, spray for bugs, take out the compost… When the shuttle arrives at 7:30, I am poised and ready.
It pains me to forego my usual pound of silver jewelry, but metal detectors hate that look.
On the ride to El Paso, I begin reading Of Mice and Men. I’m so tired, my hands shake just supporting the slim paperback. 40 pages in, I fall asleep. Don’t blame the book.
This airport has a vending machine stocks with Hippie Sundries: arnica, DermaE creams, crystal deodorant. I resist their siren song.
In preparation for this trip, I read Audi’s series on traveling light. I’ve ignored her wisdom and am traveling heavy.
9:57. Just three hours to kill! Back to the book. I dine on apples, dates, and Twizzlers. One of these things is not like the others.
As I rush through the airport, it occurs to me that I never see anyone rushing in Las Cruces. Do people hurry in your city?
The international concourse is a surprisingly long tram ride away. A woman next to me says “international people’s gotta pee, too!” You tell ’em, lady.
There’s a little baby girl across the aisle from me. Cute as a button jar. I hope she’s in a good mood for the next ten hours… Can a baby be happy for ten hours straight? Can anyone?
Long flight. Try as I might, I cannot sleep. I doze for maybe an hour grand total. By the time we reach Amsterdam, my will to live is waning. Nice seat mate, though, and I swap magazines with a nearby mommy. As ugly and airless as planes feel, it’s interesting to see so many humans forced to sit quietly together for a whole night.
The Amsterdam airport! I m as helpless as a kitten up a tree. So vast, so unfamiliar, and me so sleep-deprived. I wonder if this is how small children feel, not understanding what people say, looking for any familiar symbol or brand…
The restrooms are marked TOILETS. They are also marked Ladies and Gentlemen, but only a few of us are startled when a tall, dark man pushes in a floor-cleaning machine. Not in Kansas anymore.
I’m glad I thought to carry cash… Until I remember that dollars won’t help me here. Finding an ATM and getting Euros makes me feel considerably safer, but I’d better not buy anything until I check the exchange rate… Did I just withdraw a Whole Lot of Money? I honestly don’t know.
I’ve never seen so much Delft china and Van Gogh merch. I’d never even heard of Miffy, who dominates the airport toy stores.
Ian can’t meet me at the airport for awhile, so I wait, lugging two suitcases and a purse. After thirty minutes, I get anxious. After an hour, I’m ready to cry. Just as I’m paying to use an Internet kiosk, he finds me. Great relief.
Guess who’s been cleaning out her files? Yep, you guessed.