It’s that feeling of rushing through the terminal or station or parking lot, your bags flung behind you, jostling for a comfortable position as you adjust to keep the straps from tearing your shoulder or neck muscles.

It’s the satisfaction that wells up in you when you locate bus #B20 or gate #B20 or the marquee that indicates your train only 20 minutes away.

It’s the reassurance that slowly sets in that you are not so much going to something as you are away, which is reassuring because the place you going away to is empty. An unmarked map left to you to mark. You gather recommendations from friends that you will visit or not if you choose. But the place you are going away to has no expectations of you, and you shed your expectations of it.

Because there is only you here. No e-mail inboxes to check. No meetings to prepare for or follow-up on. No laundry to do or shirts to iron. No messages to return or even people to talk to. You take an empty seat next to a total stranger or not, if you choose. You slough off your baggage and slide into a sterilized seat that you don’t have to clean or arrange the throw pillows nicely on.

You sit down to an empty screen and cannot keep the edges of your lips from curling into a slight smile, knowing that whatever words come out now are only those leftover when everything is stripped away. Only words that are bare and true.


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