Live Color Fully

today i am excited about everything.

A Little Madness

on November 28, 2012

Almost two years ago, during what I hope someday I’ll be able to call “the only bleak year in my life,” I kissed a stranger in the airport.

While the airport is always a dramatically romantic location in films, let’s be honest: in real life, the airport is gross. There’s very little of people diving across misplaced ropes to finally, finally say Those Three Words. Or people longingly pressing their faces against a full length window, sunshine streaming in, looking with a sense of unrequited love towards the plane that’s taking with it a handsome wo/man, and their heart.

On this side of reality, people are stale & rotting from traveling across the sky in an oppressive metal box, and there is a vague sheen of germs on every surface. If you press your face to the window, you should assume that from that point forward in the timeline of your life, you have typhoid fever. It’s dark, weirdly damp, and dirty.

And it was there, amidst the chaos of after-holiday travel, that I had a complete breakdown.

It was the travel day that will forever live in infamy as “The Day I Took A Drug Test In The Airport”. After I had been cleared (whew!), I found my seat on the plane next to a man I can only remember as “Ranger”. As we traveled above the clouds, we chatted about his life- in training to be an Army Ranger (hence the clever name), and mine- trapped in a job that broke some unidentifiable part of me.

And, of course, the things we had in common: Moms that were teachers, awesome Sisters, a love of music, faith in our Creator, and the importance of people. By the time we landed, we were Facebook friends.

We smiled and said goodbye, and I headed towards my connecting flight, the one that would (with my strained permission) sweep me away from almost everyone I loved in the world and back to my difficult life.

So.

So, I scuffled toward C12, completely shutting down my brain and forcing the muscles in my legs to step, step, step.

As I rounded the corner, I froze.

In this modest pocket of the airport, there were 4 gates: one to my beautiful hometown (Wichita), one to the place I became a grown up (Louisville), one to the place my college friends have settled (Indianapolis), and one to Little Rock.

My brain went into overdrive. “LITTLE ROCK”, it screamed, hurting my head and every part of my being. “GET ON THE PLAAAAANE”.

My heart whispered back, low and gentle, the ever-formidable opponent: “no”.

I sat down.

In the middle of the terminal, holding an oversized bag and my sunglasses, with chaos all around me, I broke.

Both people and time moved nearby, but in the air I was breathing, everything stood still.

And I melted.

For what felt like 2 minutes (or maybe 2,000), I sat cross-legged on the grimy tiled floor, silent tears running down my face.

Then, two hands on my shoulders, lifting me up. I looked into Ranger’s face, his eyes searching mine.

“Uh, WHAT are you doing? Are you okay? You should probably not be sitting on the floor. There’s seriously a chair like, 10 feet from you right now.”

Laughter bubbled out of me, the moment took hold of my heart, and I placed my hands on either side of his face and kissed him, right on the mouth.

It was, by far, one of the most absurd things I’ve ever done. Ever. And that includes the time I went to Naked Ballet in college with my then-boss, the Ed Head for the I-O.

And then the moment ended; we both laughed. And somehow, through the haze of my crazy, I knew I was going to be okay.

 

A man needs a little madness, or else he never dares cut the rope and be free. Nikos Kazantzakis. 

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