Zone 1, 7C. You may now begin boarding. Gate 12. Or is it 24? Terminal A, Terminal 1, take the shuttle over to Terminal 5, but remember you’re leaving from the South Terminal in the morning. Gate 6, even though I can see the runway. They make you take a bus. This one makes no sense whatsoever, and I try to remain in my pre-allotted scant square inch of space; fortunately, occasionally, making friends with seatmates.

We’re trapped in this tin can, far above the earth. The computer’s crashed, and there’s nothing I can do.

Knock back the free glass of wine, eat the superbly salty non-gluten, non-allergen snack. A cookie. It’s packaged. My meal’s better than yours because I had the foresight to order ahead. They took the water in security. They’d better not take my olive oil and chocolate too.

Where are you going? Where have you been? What’s next, and who do you miss? Existential questions are answered by constant motion, constant knowledge that you know where you’re going, and from where you originated. But you see, it’s the rest of us, poor fucks, that have to deal with reality – we’re the ones that should write the books and the memoirs, but the travelers, those on the road, they’re the ones that are revered. No one wins prizes for surviving the everyday. No one is lauded for getting up in the morning.

Seat 6F, row 12. Middle or aisle. You’re in the exit row, can you perform the duties required of in case of an emergency? I need a verbal agreement.

Identity is easy when it’s reduced to numbers, letters, airport acronyms. Living the true self day in and day out is where the heroes emerge. We should write books about our flesh and blood, non-instagrammed, non-photoshopped, surviving, living, breathing, strong selves. We are the superstars, we are the survivors. We are soaring, even while shackled to the ground.

We are gloriously imperfect.

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