I write this text on the plane from Stockholm to Barcelona, where I’ll be headed to the south of France. For some weird reason, or maybe for the fact that it is still Summer and this plane is travelling to a popular holiday destination, and despite my general laziness, I see myself surrounded by couples, or people travelling together, as in pairs.
There’s something magical about travelling alone, that’s a standard a cliché, but there’s some sort of light feeling that I can’t really describe in words. Most people I met in the past three months were acutely curious about my solo trip, actually they were not exactly curious about my route so much as they were almost passionately impressed by my “being alone”.
Seeing myself surrounded by couples, or pairs, or partners, on this plane, I keep asking myself how did these people meet? How have they become two? How do they feel about organizing together their luggage hand-in-hand in the overhead compartment? It feels so good, doesn’t it? I’ve been in that place before and that feeling is so delightful, it is such an ordinary thing though, right? Maybe it is in these very ordinary moments and little details that being together truly happens. It is then that we truly “be together”; sharing the same space, the same breadth, the same route, the same desires. After so many encounters, so many stories heard and told, I find myself eagerly desiring this “being together” feeling.
Sometimes, ok, most of the times in my case, things happen fiercely as an avalanche of events: there’s always so much involved. In order to be alone, an avalanche had to happen, in order to be together another one is on its way! Maybe it’s this never-ending feeling of getting lost and being found that travelling alone can create that makes me crave this desire to “be together” so fervently; maybe it’s because of an encounter that made me crave two bodies together, in conversation, that I cannot resist this feeling. And I do try, I do. But my body is restless, my lips are thirsty, they desire, my tongue is an explorer and it’s begging for more, it seeks, it dances, it wants to speak another language. It’s longing for a new mother tongue. And I want to “be together”.
As I search for the appropriate words to pointlessly translate my feeling into an intelligible text, by which I seek to communicate with you, and while the couples around me dive into the alcoholic inflight menu and gossipy talks, I find myself fidgety, exploring some photos taken last week. My eyes feel humid, my lips even drier (damn it, aircon), “what now?”, I hear myself wonder. What now, Gabriela? Where do you go after seeing all that you’ve seen? Why are you so emotional* and why can I see tears blooming in your dark eyes? What are you (so) afraid of? Each question leads me further to a sobbing state, I need to hit the toilet before this turns into a proper cry.
And I want to “be together”.
* On a happy note, see Leandra Medine and Alexa Chung discuss the effects of high altitudes, aka flying, on our emotional system in this nice chat.