Behind Blue Eyes
I just took a trip to the UK, which as it turns out is not just a school in Lexington with the most disgusting fanbase in college basketball. I wrote down my thoughts each day, and the thought progression ended up being pretty cool. So I’m going to share it.
Airports can be very strange, isolating places, but to me they seem very familiar. Everything about them is this funny little culture to me. The people gathered in one place with no connection with each other except the fact that they are trying to get to somewhere else. We’re all trying to get somewhere else. We have to get somewhere.
The past month has been a bit of a blur. Between confusing moments at work, traveling for work, looking for more work, friendships, finances, and whatever else I want to add to this seemingly endless list, I am exhausted. My weary old blue eyes are feeling the fatigue that the grey hairs on my head have been trying to warn them about.
The reason I’m even writing in the airport right now is because everything was delayed. Our flight was due to leave at 11, and now won’t until nearly 2. Why wouldn’t it be? This was a trip planned around going to a particular soccer match, but the match was post-poned, thus changing the focus of the trip and the entire itinerary. So why wouldn’t the flights be delayed as well?
I wish I had known that the flights were delayed. It would have helped my morning out quite a bit. Everything building up to the trip, thanks to rescheduling and rearranging and reeverything, has felt so very rushed. So rushed, in fact, it was a little bit hard to focus on how excited I was about traveling. So rushed that there were moments I wasn’t even sure I was excited at all.
Airports are rushed places. We rush to get there in enough time to check bags and pass through security. We rush through security so we aren’t late to the gate and so we don’t anger those behind us in line. We rush through gates and into tiny seats so the process can move smoothly. And when we land, we rush to the next gate or the rental place or to family members. To whatever our next destination is. We have to get somewhere, and airports are a constant blur of humanity, rushing and passing each other and never connecting even though we are all there for the same reason. We have to get somewhere.
So rushed. The last thing I did in Jackson before rushing to the airport was a rushed breakfast with a friend I enjoyed being around even in times where being around people tended to annoy me. My friend has lovely blue eyes. Of course breakfast had to be rushed, though. I had to scarf down some eggs and toast in about 45 seconds, all on about 4 hours of sleep. I wanted to puke, partly because of the situation but also because I had to rush a goodbye that I would have loved to prolong. When I return home, those blue eyes will have moved elsewhere. 45 seconds of eggs will have to do.
Those blue eyes keep me company before I go to the airport. They thank me for friendship as they give me a hug and drop me off at my house. I smile and disregard the compliments, because I don’t know how else to live. Compliments make me want to run away. And hey, airports are the perfect places to run.
My close friend Mike and I talk often about the more serious issues. He talks about how often, when he gets close to people, he wants to run away. It’s a pre-emptive move, for fear that if they really take a look at who he is they’ll abandon him. I get that. I want to run when I get close to people because for me, the pain comes from caring. I know I will care for them and they will hurt me and I will want to run and I don’t remember what it means to care and why it’s important to.
It hurts to care for my broken hometown, which doesn’t seem to know how to care for itself. It hurts to care for the broken people in my life who seem to feel the same. It hurts to care for friends who have low views of themselves and therefore do dumb things. It hurts to care for friends who have relationships that are falling apart. It hurts to care, and it’s easier to run away.
This trip is a break from the rushed life and the hurt that goes along with staying busy and caring for broken people. This trip is much needed. It is much anticipated, even if it all feel so rushed at the moment. But it’s also terrifying, and try as I may, I can’t quite figure out why. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s temporary, and when I return everything will be the same as they always have been. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s only an escape from all of that. Maybe it’s because by the time I return, it will only be my weary blue eyes sitting at that breakfast table.
Most likely, it’s a combination of all of those things, and it’s scary because maybe it feels like I am running away. It’s all of this thrown together that makes my old weary blue eyes feel the way they do.
I wonder if these airport people understand. I wonder if the places they’re going serve as escapes for them as well. I wonder if they’re running too, or where they’re going, or why they are. I wonder if they realize how connected we all are, even though we have nothing in common.
Nothing, except that one crucial fact that has brought us here in the first place: we have to get somewhere. We have to get somewhere. We have to get somewhere.