Thursday, December 23, 2004

When I handed the security check lady at SeaTac my driver's license, she looked up at me and said, "Samantha? You've been chosen!" and she smiled at me like I'd won something on a game show, rather than the chance to be felt up by a strange woman in the name of national security. Every time her wand passed over the rivets on my jeans, it beeped, and she would touch them and say, "Rivets," which actually sounded like "Ribbit."

The man sitting next to me at the terminal, waiting for my first flight, had been rude to everyone that had approached. He'd also been glancing sideways at the magazine I was reading, a science one (because, you know, I'm a big dork), and when I came to an article about weblogs he made a blustery noise and pointed at the page. "These...weblogs. I don't really get it. What do you think? Do you know anyone who writes in one?"
I had to laugh a little bit, because by now I know very few people who don't. "Yeah, in fact, I do."
"What do they write about?"
"Oh, they write about all sorts of things. Politics. Computers. Porn. Themselves. Everyone else."
"Do they enjoy it?"
"I think they do."
"Do people read what they write?"
"What about you?"
"Sure, I read what they write."
"No, that's not what I meant. Do you write in one."
"What do you write about?"
This gives me pause. Do I give him the simple answer, or the complicated one? I've spent most of the last week by myself, pacing, waiting for things to happen. I'm impatient and, admittedly, a little grumpy. "I write about, um, memory."
"I don't understand."
This doesn't surprise me. "Well. You know how, when you have a memory, it's really just a series of images that are vague, with a couple of points sticking out for reference? And then, when you try to put your memory in words, to tell it to someone, it comes out a little different than how you thought it looked in your head? What I do is, I try and find a way to make the words fit. I try to bring my life into focus. I bite my fingernails and try to tell people the contours of the jagged edges. You know. Like that."
He's nodding, and as soon as I trail off, he harrumphs again and moves onto someone else. I'm glad.

At the end of my flight, the pilot says, "Thank you for flying with us. We need your business. I mean, we enjoy your business."

I'm homesick. I enjoy traveling a lot, but there's not a whole lot happening and I'm so bored I might die. I'd love something new and enlightening to occur, but there's really just a bunch of bickering. I miss Seattle, and my quiet.

Next year's perihelion, the yearly near-point to the sun, is happening on New Year's day. On January 1st, 2005 the sun will be 7% brighter than any other time of the year. It hasn't happened on January 1st in a couple centuries. You can laugh at me, but I have to see this as an omen.

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