What It Takes to Get Home

051715A taxi to Rhinecliff. A train to Penn Station. Getting onto the New Jersey Transit train, then off when I see that my flight is delayed. Up onto the streets of New York where I circle around the men approaching, approaching. Waiting with my suitcase outside Freidman’s. They text when the table is ready. Across the street, a Catholic church. A passel of lawmen in tan uniforms. At the counter, my plate sits at my waist and I lean to eat. Eggs Benedict over smoked salmon, coffee so stout and strong. Back to Penn Station. Back to New Jersey Transit. Back to crowded bench seats and riders who won’t catch my eye. Up the stairs into gray Newark. Onto the monorail to the terminal. A Hasidic Jew and his two daughters who cling tight. A blonde couple with their children named Dominic and Allegra. Through a haphazard security check. A long line for the bathroom and the rumor that there’s no water inside. A seat at the gate. The chaos of boarding. And then almost four hours with a man’s leg against mine, shoulder against mine, hand grazing my thigh. The fasten seat belt sign shines on and on and on. Have I ever been so smushed? Have I? When the plane lands, I text Chris, “Please come take me home.” And he does.

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