My flight wasn’t until 2:50 pm, so my sister and I had a very leisurely morning. We even managed to fit in some pool time, do laundry and then pack. My flight was uneventful, though delayed, and I arrived in Hartford an hour later than planned.
While laying over at O’Hare, I texted E telling him that if he didn’t have any checked luggage, he should come and meet me at the gate. I sent the text on romantic whimsy – who gets met at the gate anymore these days? But, as I prepared to disembark, I was seized by the memory of the last time E and I met up at an airport. It was January of 2009 and he and I were returning to Japan after three weeks in America. We both had multiple, huge bags, we were coming in late and we missed the last bus between Narita and Haneda and like idiots we decided to take the train during rush hour (you wouldn’t think near-midnight would be rush hour, but in Japan it is). Needless to say, there were tears. As I stepped into the terminal, though, E and I were all smiles. We said hello and grabbed our cab back to New Haven.
Coming back to New Haven was strange – I recognized the streets, but they still seemed unfamiliar. I struggled to provide verbal directions to the driver as we exited the freeway. If I had been driving, I’d have known which way to go, but for some reason I was having a hard time with street names. Arriving “home” was similarly strange. Maki and I had only been living there a month before we left for our Community rotations, so I’d forgotten the little things, like where to find the light switches, and ironically, how to find my way around in the dark. I anticipated coming back and wanting to hang out for a bit – settle in, rest, have access to more of my wardrobe, which is about how I felt multiplied by ten. E said there was a name for it – something like “Living-out-of-a-suitcase Fatigue” – and gently reminded me that I would have time in the morning to repack since Vermont was just a few hours away.