The adventure to california finally begins. It’s been a long time coming, but no amount of time and mental preparation can make you ready for what you don’t know. You can’t use your emotions to fill pre-planned mental maps and projections of the future, because all these spaces are unknown and untouched. The only space I know is between my sisters’ elbows and mine, on worn plane chair armrests, temperature and humidity controlled. I’m left wildly stuffing the gaps with a poisonous mix of anticipation and apprehension.
Two nights ago, I didn’t know what it was like to see my cupboards empty, or how to recover from a shower of tears triggered by my mother’s innocent question of whether I’d printed out my e-ticket yet — I didn’t know, and as I leafed through my folder of Important Documents, I felt like a sham. I have the currencies, coats and all the trappings of a travelling city girl, but have absolutely no bravery to match my bright red luggage, and no familiar comfort in my small town destination. One night ago, I didn’t know what butter chicken and sweet lassi tasted like when eaten with the intention to savour every mouthful, as compared to filling greedy tummies fast. It is like no other.
Tonight, I begin to learn why long looks are so important, why lovers hold hands with fingers dancing and intertwined, why children love the scent of their parents’ wardrobes. If you can trick memory by flooding the senses, maybe you can halt emotions, stall the use of ‘missing you’, make distance irrelevant.