I know it was months ago, but I’m starting to forget some of it. I can call it back, but I have to really engage that part of my mind, I have to dive into the memory of it, it doesn’t splash over me the way it used to.
We got into JFK really early that morning. I want to say it was around 6am. Well 6am ET, who knows what time my body thought it was at that point. (Israel is seven hours ahead of us.)
International airports, especially early in the morning or really late at night or maybe at any odd hour, where they aren’t clogged with the hubbub of people, have an almost hospital feel to them. Not in the heart quickening, nervous way, but in the sterile, quiet, I don’t quite know where to stand or who to ask about that way.
And we were all there again, together in line, comparing our swollen ankles, together heading into the customs line and together gathering our bags and saying goodbyes, to people that maybe we’d forgotten what it was like to not be with all the time.
We went our separate ways, me with two girls from the trip who were headed to the same terminal. After buying a meal that would have fed me for three days in Israel and eating approximately half of it, I sat with the two kids from my trip who were on the same flight back to Washington, DC. The plane ride back went by in a flash of Israel conversations and re-caps, even though we’d only been back in the US for hours.
I’m not usually a fan of flying, but all in all the four flights I took round-trip for Israel didn’t bother me, that being said it was nice to get my bags at DCA and know that I wouldn’t be on a plane for a while.
My dad was almost on time, (which for him is at least somewhat unusual) but it was welcomed. I don’t think I would have dealt well with another lull and this time a solitary lull.
When I’m amped up, when I’m nervous, I hate being alone. I hate not being able to mind dump (or share everything I’m thinking with someone) and I know this is something to work on sure, but I just hate not being able to talk ad-nauseum about whatever it is, which is actually probably part of the reason I love writing so much. I can mind dump without having to actually share with someone else these intimate thoughts, these ideas that caught in my conscious, that I don’t even know if I really believe or am simply fixated on.
Almost the minute I sat down in my dad’s car, the story all of it came tumbling out. I couldn’t stop the stories, I couldn’t stop the thoughts, I couldn’t stop any of it from pouring out. I’ve said before that it was like word vomit for a while afterwards, but this time, with my father in the car that day, I don’t even know if there was a logical order to the story, I just know I said it all.
Now maybe this isn’t a shocking story to you, but you don’t know my father. My father is a retired green barre, who left his ivy league college to enlist, who then went on to practice law, retiring from that as well and now is getting his PhD in Neuropsychology… for fun. Maybe this doesn’t paint a complete picture, I guess he’s a bit like if you combined Liam Niessen from Taken, Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino and maybe a little bit of someone else. Now that’s not an exact composite of him, but its a decent summary to point you in the right direction at least, but anyways back to the point here, my father isn’t always easy to talk to about things and we haven’t exactly always been close, in fact up until a few years ago, I spent an awful lot of time attempting to hide as much of my life from him as possible.
But as I was telling my dad I started crying. Not bawling in some uncontrollable way where I couldn’t talk, but just crying and I don’t know if it was the exhaustion or the story or just being overwhelmed by it all or maybe a combination of all the above, but I cried almost the whole way through.
And more surprisingly, my dad started crying. He cried as he listened, he cried as he asked questions and there we were just crying and talking for the next hour.
I stopped to get my keys, went home, sat down and started replying to emails for work and chatting on facebook with the Israelis, in some sort of daze.
What I really remember from the time sitting at the computer, after those ten days, after that car ride, back in my childhood home and back at work, was that I felt changed, irreparably changed for the better and that I wasn’t sure what was next but I knew that forever I would never look at the world the same way.