Heat came through the glass as if the rain outside was sultry. Golden light sheathed the tarmac, making puddles into mirrors of the coming day. I imagined trees on the horizon bloomed with steam, yawning cool night so as to take a deeper breath of warmer atmosphere.

Reality outside was much more crisp and biting. Winds driven at the obverse edge of winter pushing rain against the window where I watched the planes take people in and out through storms.
There used to be a place where my mom and I could watch the airplanes land. A busy road in Portland, Or–a road with rutted lanes from semi traffic so the smaller car we drove would drift and veer, a road adjacent to a river where the wind is always strong–along that road we’d stop just where the runway ends and listen to the oldies, waiting for the planes. In summertime a man sold snow-cones from a truck with pleated metal sides that needed paint, but in a charming way. I liked the cherry flavor with a strip of grape.

On clearer days the planes swam through a sea of blue with whitecap clouds for waves, barely moving, lazy in the air. I always wondered why they moved so slow.

My mom would sweetly, almost inaudibly hum whatever oldies song was playing. I never knew them, but her voice made them familiar.

Planes would pick up speed in their descent. As they grew in size I saw them swerve and pitch against the wind, tilting up to let the rear wheels touch. Tires meet the asphalt and a cloud of smoke uncoils from their kiss. That plane and all the people in it grabbing earth, returning to a life they’d left here on the ground. The shocking touch of violence felt in waking from a dream, my snow-cone just a cup of colored water barely flavored still with hints artificial fruit.

Now there’s cyclone fencing hedged across the place we used to stop. Now the semi-trucks have pushed so deeply in the road my mom no longer feels that she can drive it. Now sometimes I’m in the planes and when I look to find the dingy box-truck selling snowcones, I’m disappointed.

And when I grab hold of the earth it jars me, like no matter where I land it’s not the same as I had dreamt it taking off.

#melbourne #australia

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