Throughout the thirteen hour plane ride to Taipei, I could not stop watching the woman in front of me. Between bouts of sleep and finding myself staring at the ceiling, I would notice faintly but strongly her presence in a plane full of people. Forty years old or sixty, it was difficult to gauge. Her high, gaunt cheekbones battled against full, tanned cheeks and her hair flecked with dove grey stranded elegantly through inky black. I never quite got a strong, clear look at her eyes or mouth, only glimpses through the space between the seat and the window as I sat behind.
The lust to wander is back full force and I don’t quite know what to do with this familiar feeling. It’s a bit of a chicken or the egg situation: I purchased a ticket for a brief stint (hopefully filled to the brim with work and collaborative ideas) back to Phnom Penh and since then haven’t been able to take my mind off getting out. Did the desire to make my way across the world again force me to finally buy a ticket or was it purchasing my flight that’s got me all riled up to go?
Yesterday I was awakened from a hazy sleep with a text from my landlord asking if I had a check ready for rent and I popped out of bed, immediately wrote one out, and handed it to her as she ran by with her dog, Pepper. Even though I felt a bit chagrined that I had forgotten to put the rent in the dropbox a day before, ran out with a sweatshirt hastily pulled over my slip and was caught sleeping in like a teenager- I was grateful.
I’m sitting in my dimly lit living room with M83 playing in the background, grapefruit La Croix in reach, snuggled into my new little body pillow covered in cats (thank you, Lisa) thinking about… marriage.
Writing today from Gate B9 in Taipei, waiting for a plane to- you guessed it- Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I’ve spent the past few weeks back in Washington making sure life still exists there (it does, and it’s thriving) and making some connections for work which has been rather exciting.
It’s already been a month since I made my first trek to Phnom Penh and experienced this well-known yet no less easy twelve hour layover in the McDonald’s-less Incheon Airport in Korea. The last time I was here, only a mere hundred feet away from where I sit now as I finished another entry, I was crying my eyes out. It was after a long night of slamming Soju and Asahi with Yoshi and our new friend, Misato, hashing out all of our frustrations and navigating through feelings of our impending work trip. I had experienced a restless six hours in the airport hotel, I was feeling anxious and disoriented, not knowing what to expect as I went back to the country I had left so recently and simply exhausted physically and emotionally.
I find it difficult to trust people, and I believe that stemming from that lack of trust comes me being easily irritated. I don’t know if there was a specific time or event that caused me to question people’s motives, what true colors lie beneath, and whether I would be the one, yet again, walking away first.
Here I am again, eyes parallel with the clouds. It’s familiar, this situation. The seats feel the same: ever so slightly sticky against the back of my legs, right arm a bit warmer than the left from the sun streaming in from my window seat, tears behind my eyes waiting to meet my collarbone, and head foggier than usual from the air pressure. The hazy blue veiled with a fleet of cirrus that meet the mountain range just beyond the wing of the plane. This time I’m leaning into the wall to avoid contact with the man who has decided that the entire arm rest belongs to him; spacial awareness obviously not a strong suit.