Alone at the Airport

Dearest Rachel –

I’ve insisted from fairly early on that I wanted to resume my life, and continue to see the world – just that, I wanted to find someone to share those travels with. This is not one of those trips.

To be fair, you wouldn’t have been able to come on this one even if you were still around, as it’s a men’s leadership retreat. And while there is a similar couples’ retreat at the same place next week that we could have gone on, I would never have found out about either of them had I not decided to join the men’s Bible study that meets on Saturday mornings at eight o’clock – and if you were still around, I would not be spending my Saturday mornings that way, as you well know.

By order of the city’s munificent mayor, she whose very soles illuminate the town with their glorious and blinding incandescence, yet whose hooded brow casts a Stygian darkness upon her face that her eyes struggle to escape from, as though from a pair of micro-singularities, all who enter these halls (as with every public space that is privileged to be a part of our great and cowering city) are required to mask up. All of which is part of the reason I am here alone – not only has Daniel refused to be vaccinated, he also refuses to wear a mask, rendering him officially unfit to even show his face in public, let alone travel by air.

Not like this particular trip would interest him; leadership was never his thing. And that’s fine. I understand that. Leadership requires dealing with other people, and that’s something he prefers to avoid. And in turn, certain decisions he has made regarding health mandates forbid him from doing so, anyway. As far as he’s concerned, it’s a win-win.

The check-in area at the airport is bustling, but the lines aren’t intolerable. Indeed, having to unpack and repack my laptops makes me feel like I’m the one holding people up. It’s an uncomfortable sensation, exacerbated by the fact that everyone here is fairly sleepy. And why not? It’s five in the morning, after all.

Wandering around the airport, you were reminded that it’s New York that is the city that never sleeps; it’s pretty quiet in the terminal. And there’s hardly half a dozen people at the gate when I arrive. On the other hand, there’s probably two or three times that queued up at the McDonald’s across the corridor from the gate; of course, part of that may be due to it being one of the few restaurants even open at this hour. Like I said, we’re clearly not a city that never sleeps.

Wish I felt comfortable enough to sleep. Although it’s not the discomfort of the chairs that keeps me awake, but the concern that I might miss something – like my flight. I’m still surprised that I got as much sleep as I did last night.

They say that every step is an adventure when you’re traveling. I don’t think about it too often, because it hurts so much. But I confess, that I’m somewhat reminded of the movie Up at the moment, where Carl flips through the scrapbook his wife Ellie has left him. “Thanks for the adventure,” she tells him.

“Now go out and have another!”

Well, here I am, honey. I know you never left me such a message; you never had time to consider doing so. Heck, neither of us thought you’d go before me – nor did we think it would happen so soon. But I’d like to think that, had it occurred to either of us, we would have been more than approving of the sentiment.

And so here I am, on the first of who knows how many adventures. Wish you were here, but I guess there’s nothing for that.

As always, honey, wish me luck.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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