The pandemic has forced me into an endless staycation
I miss going somewhere, anywhere, far away.
The packing and carrying stuff to the airport,
and the long lines at the check-in,
the frustration with the check-in machine,
the impatience of the airline helper guy,
the slowness of it all.
And then the rush to the security line,
the long, boring, slow-moving security line,
and the big families with double strollers.
How is it possible that some people have so many kids and travel with them?
And the stupid taking off of my shoes,
and my belt, and the emptying of my pockets,
and the trashing of a perfectly fine water bottle,
and the X-ray puff followed by a security officer
who looks bored by it all, too.
The waiting in the terminal,
and the line to get to my seat,
which is, of course, too small.
The tiny plastic cup containing more ice than Coke,
the dry air,
the mildly amusing joke of the chief flight attendant before takeoff
and the little bag of whatever free chips they give out.
Why do they use so much bag for so few chips?
I miss getting somewhere, anywhere, far away,
and getting cheated by a cabdriver,
and the strolls around a strange city with all my luggage
because it was too early to check in to the hotel,
and the mysterious streets that make me thank God for my cellphone,
and the mythological beast served in the dish that I thought was vegetarian.
Oh, and then there’s that drink.
Whatever was in it may not be that tasty,
and certainly not that healthy, but, boy, did it hit the spot,
and I’ll drink it again the next day, and the next, and the next.
It’s my own special drink, in my own special spot in this faraway town
and all of a sudden everything makes sense:
This place is starting to feel like home.
Unfortunately, that only happens
when it’s almost time to go back home.
It makes me wonder: Why did I travel so far,
if I only start to feel happy when the strange place I went begins to feel familiar?
But now I am forced into an endless staycation
in a place so familiar that it starts to feel strange.
And I miss going somewhere, anywhere, far away.