Monday, December 23, 2013

The Phoenix Airport

He's everywhere I look. The table where we split a bowl of ice cream, the chairs where he convinced me to wait until the very last minute to leave, the security line where he begged for "One more kiss!" not once, not twice, but five times. Every single square inch of this place reminds me of him. Reminds me our joyous reunions and our final hours together. The bittersweet ghosts of moments passed.

I wonder if I'll ever be ok in the Phoenix airport again. I've traveled in and out of it a dozen times since Blake's last night, but it's the one place that never seems to get easier. I try to remain present while a continuous loop of memories haunt me, but it's no use. It feels like I'm holding my breath the entire time. When I can finally breathe again, my lungs ache from the strain. Anxiety buzzes through my veins until I get the change of scenery I need.

Airports in general have always been a place of positivity for me. When I'm there it's either because I'm flying somewhere or coming home from a trip. Since I'm my happiest self when I'm traveling, airports have always been a part of this bliss. It hurts to be disconnected from that feeling when I'm in the Phoenix airport, the airport that's supposed to feel like home.

On a morning when I'm embarking on a trip to South America with my family, I want to feel nothing but excitement. I've dreamed of Argentina and Peru for years and I'm finally going. It's not that the experience is tainted by Phoenix Sky Harbor, but in a way I feel being here is a roadblock. There is a barrier between me and my joy. I can't fully embrace this new experience because I'm allowing myself to be held back by the past.

But I know that one day I'll pass Chelsea's Kitchen and smile. Maybe I'll even buy myself a bowl of ice cream. I'll see couples holding hands, soaking in every last minute together, and wish them strength in their long distance relationship. I'll pass through the C gate security without crying. I won't hear echoes of "One more kiss!" and won't turn back hoping for one last glimpse before rounding the corner.

And when I don't do and see these things, it won't be because I've forgotten. I could never forget. Instead, my mind will be so filled with thoughts of adventures ahead that there won't be any room for sadness. That's when I know I've reclaimed the Phoenix Airport.

But for today, I'm just glad to be leaving this place so I can breathe.

No comments:

Post a Comment