At the airport

My flight from Flag to Phoenix is delayed. My flight from Flagstaff to Phoenix is always delayed. I missed an interview once. I’ve missed connections. Once, when my flight was canceled Phoenix to Flag, my student Chase Edwards drove us through a snowstorm up the mountain at 2 a.m. I would hate Flagstaff’s difficult travel situation if I didn’t love the airport so much. I’m watching Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, eating a grilled cheese, having a glass of wine. Maybe I could live at the airport and, if a flight actually became available, I could hop on as a resident flight-hopper-onner.

16 year old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg’s mother is an opera singer. Internationally renowned, she traveled across the globe. But she’s taken her travel down to nearly nothing, singing only around Sweden. Admittedly, my flight today is short enough to be within-Sweden-size but I do have some trips coming up that give me pause. They say flying is one of the worst carbon outputs. I managed to squish two different trips into one for October, but this means I’ll be away from Max and Zoe for 10 days instead of 3 days twice. They’ll thank me for it later, right?No, they won’t, because one flight back and forth from Flagstaff to Ohio won’t save the planet. But maybe they’ll thank me for my effort. Good intentions.

The whole family will  go to New Zealand for the NonfictioNOW planning conference in November. The kids are coming, reluctantly. No one likes to fly. No one likes to miss school.

But it’s so so good to travel. If I didn’t travel, I wouldn’t have met David Carlin who wrote the After-Normal with me so I could travel to now-Utah, soon Ohio to read to people about climate change. Speaking of change, travel changes your mind. Literally remaps the way you see the world.

But maybe there’s another way for that kind of remapping that doesn’t require carbon dioxide times 1000 per, that doesn’t necessitate hundreds of plastic forks and spoons and styrofoam since real utensils aren’t allowed behind security gates, that doesn’t make you spend a 100 hours of flight delays watching Gordon Ramsey yell at not-so-great restaurant owners.

Maybe I can just ride my bike out to the airport on the occasional afternoon, order a grilled cheese, and remap my mind by spending $8.53 on a pretty bad glass of wine. It tastes just the same as the wine on the airplane. In fact, I think it comes from the same tiny bottle distributor. Even better, maybe I’ll find drive down to Page Springs Winery in Sedona, which, though 35 miles from Flag, is way closer than Gallo or Frontera. The wine and I can meet in the middle. Oak Creek runs through Page Springs. The river travels  remaps itself daily.

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