I was squatting a food court table at Detroit’s Metro Airport on Wednesday night, keeping careful watch on a coloring book, crayons, a couple of water bottles, some stuffed animals, crumbling snacks and an iPad paused on some shit bit of Barbie brand management.
Our flight was delayed, but that had nothing to do with the state of our surroundings. That table would have looked like the same regardless of when we were leaving for Portland. That’s traveling with a five year old. You do what you can and, if I’m being honest, and I’d like to think that’s what I do, ours travels well. She’s good at flying, always has been.
But I was sitting there watching the young men and women in suits and various other styles of business dress, and I couldn’t help but think about when I had new clothes, new luggage, places to be. I used to keep frequent flier accounts as loaded. My hotel rewards balance was bigger than most, and I thought that mattered. Maybe it did then.
Anyhow, I was watching these people–these young, carefree, fit people without crayon marks on their new clothes–and I got a little nostalgic for the road as a solo endeavor. Just a little. There’s a sense of possibility out there that doesn’t exist at home. New friends. New stories. You only find those away from the couch or the desk. Fortunately, it’s time to hit the road again.
Readers of the newsletter know already, but work on Book No. 2 is underway. It’s the story of a disenchanted song about an enchanted place. The story of Margaritaville will be published in 2017 by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. To say I’m thrilled would be a disservice to words and excitement.
A year ago today I was staring down the barrel of my 40th birthday. I stared into that barrel so damn long that night it animated into a kaleidoscope of self-doubt and uncertainty. I woke up the next morning, walked to a overlook of the city and was there when I hit 40 on the nose. Nothing happened. The universe didn’t care. So I walked home, poured some coffee and had a great day with friends and family.
A book came out in October, and it’s done pretty well and people have liked it and now I get to write this book, which feels a lot like getting a job.
And so tomorrow, as I turn 41, I’ll be at PDX–not taking pictures of my feet–and boarding a flight to Los Angeles. From there to Nashville. I’ll read a book, and listen to some music and I’ll go in search of Margaritaville. I expect this will be a lot of fun.
Time to pack and see a little more of the world.