neon : self-provocation

You debated whether or not to write this part of the series, because you do not tell all your stories, and those told are often told with a maddening degree of obfuscation.

You could blame it on his glasses; you often do. It is easier for you to point to some unrelated circumstance and say, "This provoked me," when in fact you made your own choices based on criteria known only to yourself.

A few close friends made a note of the statement, made before you learned you had wings and before you had a boarding pass for Minneapolis, that you wondered if Minnesota might not get interesting in the Chinese sense. You were right, and he was laughing, and it was easy and marvelously complicated all at once; the kind of complicated that provokes three-word emails to your spouse and a day of staring out through your in-flight window, just in case the pattern of the clouds held answers.

You realize with a snap and a shudder that life is only simple if you force it to be; by nature you are prickly and complicated and hard to get to know, and the more salient point is that he's only where he is right now because you allowed it.

You wonder why you did it. You even ask him, knowing full well there is no rational answer. You may shiver when your ears are touched, but far more interesting in the long run is whom you allow to do that to you, and why.

On the plane, having signed over another piece of your soul to another airport, you take advantage of the empty row of comfortable seats and stretch out along the entire row, and you think about how you don't get intrigued often. It takes a certain kind of person, a certain slant of light, and even then it might not happen; the number of impulses you dismiss is far greater than the impulses you actually act on.

You find yourself inexplicably grateful you took a chance on Minnesota. Before the plane lands in Denver, you realize your travel plans for your second furlough just got a little more complicated, and you are not remotely sorry.

After all, she who discovers the ability to fly often finds a corresponding urge to do so.