09 7 / 2011
A little over a year ago, I was flying out of Moscow, just as I am now. And yet, when I remember that departure, I feel like a totally different person left, and a totally different person is leaving now. That girl — so far away from me another in time, though not space — still felt that doors were open to her. I don’t feel that anymore.
Last years, I had a disastrous trip out of the Sherementevo airport. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong: the taxi was late, there were huge traffic jams, the entrance / bridge to the airport was shut down, customs made me dump out my suitcase, my passport control line moved three times as slowly as all the others, and if not for my sheer magical endowments (more on how the world revolves around me later) I would have been stuck in Russia, out of money, with no contacts, barely able to parse the language and certainly not competent enough to have a showdown with airport staff. And yet, I was completely calm. When my plane was held for me for twenty minutes, and I was personally escorted to it, I took my seat with total composure. All was as it should be, and it couldn’t have been otherwise.
I stayed up late packing my things last night / this morning. Stress and sleep deprivation have been triggering some kind of acid reflux. I arrived three hours before my flight is due to leave, and I am still nervous. I can’t remember what it was like to feel as calm as I did.
I feel as though so many doors have closed to me — that I have run up to them, only to have them shut in my face, and locked. I walk down a long corridor, with doors on either side of me, but each in turn shuts. Then, there is that door, the one door, at the end of the hall — the door to being a different person, the door to the end and the door to the beginning, the door to something drastic and horrible and terrifying and thrilling, the door of finality. Once, I believed I had other ways to go. Now, I am more and more convinced that my options are slim, if not entirely singular.
I don’t want to be afraid, but if I’m not afraid, I’ll be numb. If I’m not stressed and worried, then I have accepted my fate. And I cannot accept one part without accepting the whole — I can’t cherry pick if I am accepting some kind of destiny, some sort of ultimate purpose.
I can no longer delay, and I can no longer lie to myself. And I am afraid and I am tired.
A year ago I flew out of Moscow, satisfied, more mature, happy, excited.
I fly out this year divested of the hopes that had once seemed so bright to me.
It is a gray day in Moscow. It is cold. It feels as though the city understands.