I had a moment in the rock climbing gym where the night breeze from the open roll-up warehouse door touched my damp scalp and I thought of airports. I thought of the first cool breath in the parking lot by the airport, where you're coming or going—I couldn't tell which movement I was feeling.
A very handsome man was watching me.
When I looked at him, he gave a single, scornful laugh and looked away. I was bewildered and a bit hurt. Briefly, I considered tapping him on the shoulder and asking what the fuck that was about. My shirt read 'WEIRD AT LAST, WEIRD AT LAST, GOD ALMIGHTY WEIRD AT LAST' but I didn’t feel that it warranted such a reaction.
I wandered the gym. I finished my only successful 3 route and watched him palming the start holds of a 2 as I walked away. Climbing better than him made me feel smug and powerful.
I knew what music I wanted to listen to as I drove home, which is rare. I put on the Stateless album, Matilda.
Once, I told a friend that Stateless had done the best that music could do and I didn't understand why people were still making more of it. It still felt like a factual statement.
I rolled the windows of my car down, trying to recapture whatever subtle lift, motion of transition, first gasp before the plunge away from earth, good airport-feeling I'd felt before.
It came to me softly. It lifted the sweaty underside of my collapsing ponytail, buzzed in the bass line. I found myself smiling. It felt like I was singing along. Maybe I was.