Dude. It's been a week--more than that, I know. What can I say? I have PTSD (Post Travel Stress Disorder), and lately? If I so much as hear the click of a high heel? I get this little tic in my eye, and I am right back in that airplane, buckled in with a snap. Click! 6+ hours flying with a baby who cries unless my nipple is crammed inside his mouth, and so it is. My shirt wide open, my dad sitting across the aisle paying superveryscrutinizinglyclose attention to his book because we wordlessly decided long ago that I have no nipples or boobs or other, my body instead composed of elbows and cracked heels, things that cannot be sexualized. 6+ hours of Ozzy latching on and pulling away because it is fun and he is bored, his mouth smelling like sweet wet bread, the guy in front of me fully reclined, Zoey beside me whining, Bryan playing Angry Birds pretending he is anywhere else and my dad, reading.
And then this: 4 hours in and Ozzy with a codpiece of a diaper. Soaked through and full of poop. But the airplane has no changing tables so the flight attendant tells me to change him on my seat. A poopy diaper in a metal tube flying 30,000 feet above. And so I do, surrounded by strangers drinking Sprite, and as I'm changing him he starts to poop some more, his body rolling into the sloped joint of the seat, a Play-Doh Fun Factory cranking out poop and more loose poop, Ozzy crying because I have not yet found a way to change his diaper with my nipple in his mouth.
Tic, you guys, do you see it? My eye?
Then later, after we land, a 4 hour drive to Vermont. Only it is raining and dark and we are from California. We drive and we drive, the bitchy bitchface voice of the rental car's GPS saying recalculating over and over all judge-y, the roads going from paved to dirt to whatthefuck? Midnight, Ozzy screaming and we pull over so I can stick my nipple in his mouth again and my dad, already covered in nicotine patches, gets out to smoke a cigarette when out of the woods comes a man with no shirt on, and I cannot help but think of Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find.
This is where it starts to get fuzzy. The man was nice--drunk but nice--we were lost and he could not help, some 15 year old policeboys randomly showed up and could not figure out how to turn off their sirens, misunderstood where we were trying to go and told us we were hours and hours away, that we needed to go to the Canadian border, blah blah, sirens blaring, my dad smoking, Ozzy screaming, Zoey scared, Bryan wound tight and my nipple wet and smelling like bread. So we gave up, got a hotel room and in the morning this is what we saw:
Of all the artwork for the hotel room to have it was a stylized map with a pin showing where we were. Concord, New Hampshire. Wrong state entirely. We laughed and ate a complimentary continental breakfast.
And then tried again and made it to my cousin's wedding. It was beautiful, she was stunning, the leaves really are spectacular, stone and brick, the smell of real apple cider, not just a candle bought at Anthroplogie. Here is a photo of my East Coast children...
Note the pissy look on Ozzy's face, i.e. my nipple is at least three feet away.
So yes, I am home now, the trip back the same in reverse. It has been a week and my eye twitch is slowly getting better. Today we went to the beach, the start of our Northern California indian summer and the air was perfect with salt.
I read somewhere that scientists believe that a person is never more than 3 feet away from a spider at any given time. Not sure what this has to do with my story but it is interesting nonetheless.