On the Eve of Leaving

I’ve always been a nervous traveler. Perhaps that’s the wrong word. Excitable? Not quite a fit either. Sleep never finds me on the eve of leaving. I’ve lain three hours awake near-unblinking tonight, thinking of how New York will find me. New York, being indifferent, won’t have missed me, I tell myself. Not like Tampa. Tampa’s muggy nights enfold you. You feel missed. But New York? I won’t know until I step off that plane.

I’ve everything packed. I’m missing nothing. It isn’t nerves… but there’s a flutteriness not in my stomach so much as in my heart. It’s that same flutteriness I’d get before going on stage in a play in grade school. “Oh, that’s stage fright,” they told me, but I wasn’t afraid. I ached. I was like a dog straining against a leash. I yearned. And that is it, right there.

I am a restless, yearnful traveler.

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