Last night I dreamed about flying home for Christmas.
The airport in Grand Rapids was quiet and empty. My flight left at something like three o’clock in the morning. I slept through most of the trip, just waking up to run through the long underground tunnel in the Detroit airport, with its walls all a dim, shifting mass of color, like an underwater scene of fractured light, to get to my connecting flight to Burlington. I think there was music playing. I think it was David Nevue. I laughed at the moving sidewalks – speeding me that much faster towards home. I was alone. I don’t know why, but in my dream, Emily was already back at home before me.
The plane from Detroit to Burlington was tiny, again. One of those little ones with two seats on one side of the aisle and only one on the other. Not many people, I guess, coming to Vermont for Christmas. I sat in my single seat, trying to keep my camera bag from falling into the aisle and staring at my reflection in the oval window. I remember thinking about my hair, and how I would have to stop in the bathroom once I got to Burlington to make sure the airplane air conditioning hadn’t gotten it tangled. Somehow it was important that I look good when I arrived.
I fell asleep again, and the next thing I knew, my dream-plane was at the gate. I disembarked with the few other passengers straggling in to the North. I didn’t stop in the bathroom after all – I caught my reflection in a window instead. I couldn’t decide if I should wear my camera bag on my back or prop it on top of my suitcase. I was wearing my brown wool coat over the knitted minidress my Mother sent me last year, and my high boots and dark leggings. Even in my dream, that combination had me feeling like a too-tall anime princess. I couldn’t stop smiling. You could have slapped me in the face, hard, and I’d have hugged you.
I made my way back through security, towards the front of the airport where my family must be waiting. Somehow the flight took all day – it was after eleven o’clock at night, and snowing. I was so ready.
I pushed open the last door separating me from home.
And I woke up.