Sunday, June 15, 2014

new zealand travel journal 6/9/14: too messy for theory

We’re back at the airport in Nadi, Fiji, where the guys in aloha shirts playing calypso guitar are giving me flashbacks to last week’s blues. It’s hot, crowded and dirty—there are random chip canisters and plastic plates scattered about, and the lighting and the signage have the aura of cheapness, yet nothing here is actually cheap. I just paid six Fiji dollars (however much that is) for my third-choice flavor of melted ice cream.

So yeah, we’re ready to be home, although after my Huka Falls meltdown, I did manage to pull it together again. AK was sweet to me, told me the turbulent blue and white water was like our feelings—she was jokey but touched by her own metaphor and the bigness of nature all around us.

AK in the backseat with her Dramamine, Cheryl with her schnoz, Emily at the wheel.
We drove back to Auckland through the cow-speckled countryside. AK slept in the backseat and Emily and I talked about the comforts of history.

“It’s all stories,” she said. “That’s a kind old-fashioned way of looking at it, but all the people who want to see history through the lens of theory—I don’t know, it’s just too messy.”

Emily was in the middle of one of those are-we-dating-or-just-friends scenarios with a guy she knows, and it was causing her to have some obsessive, looping thoughts that were, she said, reminiscent of her fourteen-year-old self. I told her I got it, I really did. That her battle and mine wasn’t to accumulate enough evidence of a good outcome (though the evidence was real, and there), but to stay in the present. Whatever and however that was done.

This is my foot in the crosswalk.

These are the bubbles in my pink wine.

As I told AK (next to me on the blue-carpeted slab at the Nadi airport), I know my job as a human is to learn to sit in the discomfort. And just because it’s my job doesn’t mean I’ll get paid with a baby. AK probably thinks I’d do anything for a baby, but honestly, a not-small part of me would love a text from Zoey saying they’ve found someone else. Then I could move forward with my self-pity, which can be so comforting.

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