It's going to sound odd and melodramatic, but it's true, so here goes . . .
Traveling alone is kind of a mystical experience.
I first noticed this when I was about fifteen and started flying on my own. In an airport, after your ride has left, you . . . change. All the defining qualities that grow from your relationships subside, and you are one woman, alone with her thoughts in a sea of other people alone with theirs. You mean nothing. You are a tranquil, nameless entity drifting through the universe.
This transformation is more tangible when driving. My annual drive from Salt Lake to Bemidji really makes this clear to me, because I travel not only out of my home city, but out of my very name. I stop being RoseE when I veer off the I-15. When I arrive in Bemidji, I don a new name: Arianne. In between, in the wide-open silence of Wyoming, I am no one. I am the thing that holds the gas pedal down and hits 'Play' on the audiobook. And that's very peaceful.
I'm sitting on the floor in the Denver airport, waiting for my red-eye flight to take me to my next port of call: Boston. I don't need to communicate with anyone. I have a name, of course, but it's on my license which is tucked away in my purse. I sit beside it, disconnected from it, placidly enjoying the unbearable lightness of being, without being anything or anyone in particular. Just being, without all the baggage and stress of defining what kind of being I am or ought to be.
I am in the liminal space. The Wood between the Worlds. The non-story that exists in between the back cover of one book and the front cover of the book next to it on the shelf. King's Cross Station. Sleeping Beauty's dream. Like The Moment, I am unsure if the images in my head are products of my past or my future. When I reach my next story, all that will snap into place. It always does. And I'll be better able to face the new adventure for the timeless rest I've had here, in this mystical, unearthly nowhere-space that is The Airport.