I wrote this yesterday on the plane, but could not post it. I have it here:
18 September 2010
35,000 feet, somewhere over California, Nevada, or Arizona.
An overnight flight is inconvenient; overnight in economy on US Airways, more so. My lips and skin begin to exhibit the dry, yet greasy discomfort from pressurized cabins and dry air. I should’ve shaved. I should’ve spent less money. I should’ve eaten more than an In’N’Out #1 and a bowl of supermie before I got on this damn plan. I should’ve. I should’ve. I should’ve.
Perhaps, if I had planned better, I might be on a train from Chicago, rather than a plane from Los Angeles. Perhaps, if I had spent less shuttling from San Bernardino to Los Angeles, I might have a more substantial portion of the 2500 dollars I had started out with in June. Perhaps, if I had been more careful, more boring, more usual, I’d wouldn’t be broke, crammed in an airplance seat and insomnia ridden. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.
But of course recrimination emerges; it’s after 10pm and I’m not asleep. This is unsurprising, so I quash the bitter complaints in my head. Why shave? DC will make my face freeze right quick come November. You wanted to grow your beard out, so do it. Why spend less? You enjoyed your summer and enjoyed your friends – and while friendship has no survival value, it gives value to survival, as C.S. Lewis said. A restful and entertaining summer was worth two and a half grand, easy. Why eat less? You weren’t hungry, you’ve lost five pounds this summer, and you know damn well you’re going to have an epic breakfast when you get to DC. No should’ves.
And consider Amtrak; would you really have enjoyed the trip if you didn’t have company? Of course not. And food and lodging would’ve eaten into your wallet anyhow; consider the trade. You took the train to LA for a damn good reason; you wouldn’t see lots of people for three months. You rolled your dice, drank your fill, crashed on futons, and roundly enjoyed yourself; and you would’ve done more if you could. Don’t apologize for spending time with your friends. If you’d decided to do what you do every summer, you’d have spent it depressed, bored, and more shut-in than you already did.
Instead, you emerged victorious from a summer. You learned, you marched and chanted, you organized and voted and spoke and played and laughed and ate. You didn’t get laid, but you know damn well, deep in the back of your mind, that you’re not that interested.
…but what was up with not taking your license test, dude? You fucked that up but good, brah.
Now go to sleep; long day tomorrow.