The morning you leave the sun finally breaks through.  Seattle looks eerie; a muted yellow grey sculpture rising into the shifting clouds.  Winds rise and knock blue into the sky.  It is beautiful, and I feel like we can see the mountains, but we can’t.  Of course, you are gone already, or waiting behind security gates about ready to fly into gone, and I don’t bother calling because it’s too late.  Soon the day is full strength and you are between here and Philadelphia in the silence of a pressurized cabin and foil peanuts. 

I have had too much coffee this entire week, and the last few hours with my aunt and uncle I am jittery, hard to focus.  My eyes wander while listening to stories or telling them.  When we get back to their house I make the bed we slept in and the sheets just smell like basement and not like us.  I look around for a minute, hoping for a scrap of paper you might have left me, tucked away somewhere while I was upstairs and you were zipping the last bits of your bag together, but I can’t find anything.  I didn’t tuck anything into your bag this time either.  We are exhausted by our carefully timed collisions and it is starting to show.  It is so easy to forget the casual things, we compact so much into the few hours we have.  I’m sort of glad it snowed our last full day here.  The fire popped and you stirred it into flames while I read and typed and it felt normal.  We drank tea and let it get cold and it didn’t matter.

I was fussy this past week, I know.  The buses pushed me into fury and I darted from one place to the next too quickly.  You kept saying I was going to leave you behind.  I don’t know if you meant on the sidewalk or if you meant it in a deeper, metaphorical way. 

I’m sitting in the airport now myself.  The rain has returned and the crowds here are thin.  I walked right through security without question, and kept right on to the gate, to a seat by the windows.  Outside to the left, a small stretch of horizon is the same pale yellow of this morning’s light.  The rest, the same stony grey-blue we watched all week.  It looks like rain on the far edge of tarmac, and the cement is slick in places.  I’m sure that in California the skies are that brilliant consistent blue that they always are.  All blue skies mean right now is that they are where you aren’t.  And I hate them for it.  Silly refraction of light, Rayleigh scattering, so I hate science I suppose.

We’re almost done with this.  A few months, and what are months? Simple time units, quickly eaten.  Across the airfield, the stretch of light is getting larger now, but the rain is closer as well.  I’ll call you when I land, despite the time difference.  I miss you, of course, but it has already sunk into that familiar feeling where I’m not quite sure you’re real. 

My plan is boarding soon, and I will fly back.  It’s where I sleep or it’s my home and I don’t know the difference anymore. 

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