Travel Day Series: Episode 10
Flight from Dublin to Dubrovnik, Personal car from there to Risan, Montenegro
You press your palms together using your inner thighs in an attempt to keep a modicum of heat to yourself.
The low murmur of voices floats to your ears as if from a distant cafe but conspicuously absent of the clatter of plates and cups.
You look to your right and across two seats is the tiny window ablaze with light. You close your eyes that are still not awake and see a red tinted etching of the outline of the window as it bounces on your eyelids like an old screensaver.
The plane taxis right and the cabin air shifts so you can smell the shampoo of the woman across the aisle. It’s fruity and clean. The plane turns left and the smell is gone.
Your head is pressed back from the sudden acceleration of the plane as you are cleared for takeoff.
The engine gets louder as you go faster and it sounds like a window is left open, like you are outside hearing the rush of air as the plane passes you by, cold air blasting from every creaky joint and vent and you think “this must be how a bird feels” with the wind rushing, the glad hopefulness that is the impossibility of flight.
A sign with your name found amongst signs without your name. Finding it is a small thrill although none of them would know me from Adam.
In the car with the windows down until the exit barriers where our driver turns on the tepid air conditioning and gestures for us to put up our windows.
And now traffic and the beating sun coming into half of the car where we swelt like hot house tropical plants.
We sit in the back and listen to the driver talking non stop to the woman next to him, who is also talking back at him non stop. We aren’t sure their relationship, but we think she is the mother of the woman who is renting us the apartment in Risan.
We hand her our passports and she makes an appreciative and happy sound when she sees that it says The United States of America on the cover. She gets her own passport out and shows us her visa to visit Miami with her daughter.
Later when we have trouble with the shower leaking and I’m texting about the problem, it turns out the daughter lives in Miami and is only managing the apartment for her family because she speaks English. I imagine her in the dead of night, her phone lighting up with my messages, and the person in bed with her groaning while she sits up to read them.