Long travel days put me in the most introverted mood. I need time to myself afterwards: lingering and loitering prolong the stress of the day. I seem to be alone in this idea, however, judging by the knots of people clogging the walkways at the airport. Everyone wants to stand around and discuss plans. I am impatient because my plan is 1. Home, 2. Bed. There is no need to discuss, no need to linger over it.
I don't mind traveling, I just mind everyone else traveling. I get wildly frustrated by all the people who seem to be doing this all for the first time (even though in most cases, they probably are not). These people are surprised at every turn, fumbling to unlace tall boots or dig out ID cards at security, staggering under bags too heavy to lift while everyone else bunches up behind on the jet-bridge, or my favorite: upon de-planing, these folks walk through the gate door into the terminal and just stop, while the rest of the passengers pile up behind them like Lucy's conveyor belt chocolates. It's like they've never seen an airport terminal and are blinded by the vision of it. I want to shake those people and say, from between gritted teeth: STEP TO THE SIDE.
Are these the people who write checks at the grocery store? Are they the ones who watch the cashier ring up every single one of their 87 items and THEN, after hearing the total, start rummaging around in a tote the size of a smart car to even FIND their checkbook? Do they also stop at freeway on-ramps, waiting for an opening? I make mistakes. I go to the wrong terminal, and have even misplaced a thing or two, but it is the exception. I am never more efficient or organized than when I travel--because anything else is just asking for trouble. This is why I need time to myself after travel.
It already seems years since New York. I am back in my cramped and musty apartment. My needy, demanding cat is clawing at my legs. And my ears still haven't popped. Welcome home.
It's a good thing I got my writing done earlier today. Thirty minutes of free writing about New York sidewalks. Here's to fifty days.