an airport encounter

When I first saw you, you were standing in Tullamarine airport, holding a two pound hunk of rose quartz. Prior to my focus landing on your salt water locks and rainforest stare, the stranger I flew 10,000 miles to familiarize with, to remember, a school of other thoughts raced through my mind.

Tullamarine? Really? I’m from New York… we only speak Kennedy.

My head hurts. Is it from 23 hours with flight attendants? Or 23 hours without narcotics?

No one knows where I am right now. And I’m never going back. Not ever.

Southern hemisphere atmosphere sticks to your skin differently than being up north. Hot Christmases and summer vacations in February. I felt claustrophobic, like I wanted to wipe it off. I felt lost without the perpetual prickle of skyscraper shade. I never left New York City before.

What was I doing in Australia?

I won’t lie. We’ve lied to each other enough by now, dishonesty bears nothing to even feign gain. I never expected you to be exquisite. You were supposed to be naive, how typical tends to be. You were supposed to be terrible at conversation but educated as a tour guide. You were meant to lend me your couch and bore me with details.

Instead, you placed a cool, jagged stone in my hand and smiled in a way that invited the first lie between us. That’s when I learned how I manage intimidation. Because like the breadth of the Melbourne atmosphere, intimidation was nothing I had ever felt prior. And so it began.

“Wow, it’s really nice to finally meet you. I can’t believe how my eyes are tearing, it must be from being on a plane for so long. They’re probably dry.”

Lie number one.

You looked down from the seven inches you tower above me and responded. You never thought I would actually take the flight. It never occurred to you that someone you met online in a holistic healing chatroom would abandon their life for three months to come see about you. You were sweating, evidently.

“It’s nice meeting you. I know what you mean, I’m sweating in here. The bloody a/c’s probably busted.”

Lie number two.

“Follow me… this way…”

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