I feel full. I feel like I’ve felt full for days and days, even though I distinctly remember being stomach-growling-hungry today at 11, yesterday at 4, etc., etc. Ugh.
Also: sluggish. And in a fog. Just sort of bleh. And I have three pimples around my mouth like punishment for eating fries or something. Plus it’s one of those holidays where I have to work but the mail doesn’t come. And that makes me feel like I should say something about being thankful for my freedom. I don’t know how to say that. It’s hard to be genuinely thankful for something you’ve always had, isn’t it? It’s hard to even imagine what a lack of it would be, or, if there is a freedom-enslavement continuum, what each shade looks like. Is “enslavement” even the opposite? Or, rather, the only opposite?
On the plane back from Portland a few weeks ago I didn’t check in ahead of time, and was rewarded with the back row. There was the usual seating fiasco that we can now expect on full flights when people carry on their bags — wrong seats, double booking, split up families, etc., etc. I thought for a while that my row partner and I had the row to ourselves, which almost makes up for the fact that the rear row seats don’t recline, when the attendant seated another guy in the empty middle seat. “Thanks for switching seats. I’ll get your free TV set up after takeoff.”
He had “Jacqueline” tattooed on his arm and looked about 22. His eyes were a shade of blue-green I’ve come to think of as sad because that’s pretty much the color my eyes turn if I cry a lot. We took off, he got his TV, but it turned out the sound didn’t work. He told me he would have gotten the TV for free anyway because he was military, but he didn’t like to insist on it. He was in the army, had just been home for a few weeks, and was headed back — where, I didn’t ask. I traded him my aisle seat with working sound for his middle seat (I was just planning to sleep). I thought about how little I think about the military, how disconnected I am from it, where he was going, what he had seen and might see. There’s a lot I don’t understand about the world.