Friday, January 25, 2008


Alcoholic drinks on trans-Pacific flights are free, and at the moment I’m two miniature Chardonnay bottles and one Dramamine tab goofy, while my divine young wife slumbers next to me. 
 Sherry is balled up, collapsing on herself like a dying star, her legs pulled onto the seat and tight against her chest. Her perfectly painted toes tremble in the twitching throes of REM. On the drop-down screen in front of me plays that totally lame football movie, “The Gameplan”, starring The Rock (Dwayne Johnson for those of you who knew him in high school). The movie is fucking awful. That’s the only way to put it. It’s the worst movie ever made. I hate The Rock after watching this horrendous piece of shit. I want to punch The Rock in the throat. However, United Airlines – as I’m sure you’ll find on most international flights – accommodates multiple native languages when it comes to the viewing of their movies. So, suffice it to say that in Japanese, “The Gameplan” is a tad bit charming. Shrug. But I have a problem. Against my better judgment, perhaps, I’ve downed my miniature Chardonnays rather quickly, and now I have to pee. Savagely. Brutally. Painfully. I have to pee. It's the kind of pee, I can tell, that would hit the water with the force of a fire hydrant. It's the kind of pee that would remove toilet bowl grime if aimed accurately enough. Impressive as hell, yeah? But I don't get up. Despite the tension in my lower back and the shivers in the general vicinity of my wiener, I stay seated. Instead, I write. I write, because ten hours ago I said goodbye to my family and left the only world I've known for the past 26 years, and I want to document what might possibly be going on in my mind at this moment. In six years' time, thirty-two years' time, whatever, this moment's clarity will wane and will eventually be rendered a distant memory. This moment will be no different from the feeling a particular movie, can't remember which one, might have once, maybe, given me. Who did I see it with? Was it at the theater or was it a rental? Can't remember. Emotionally, I won't be able to tell the difference between this moment and a profound dream I had in middle school. (Slightly less alarming than that dream where tarantulas rain from the trees above, but nonetheless as abstract and inaccessible.) Now, though, it's fresh. It's sticky and tangible. Sweet and juicy. This moment is a tangerine. 
 Sherry and I are on our way to Japan to spread the gospel of English to small, impressionable Japanese children. All our belongings, save for four suitcases of varying sizes filled with clothing for all seasons, are in a climate-controlled storage unit in Austin. The aimless collections of shit we've acquired and owned (or have acquired and owned us) since our lives merged several years ago sit idly in the deafening blackness of a consistently 70 degree, 7x20 space. Our brilliant red IKEA chair. Our pastel blue and green dinner plates. My 5-day ab workout video. It's all there. It all awaits us, and upon our return, I'll be on day three. This morning I said goodbye to my parents. Tearfully and with as few words as possible, I told them I loved them and would miss them achingly, would email incessantly and would call frequently using Skype and a webcam. I hugged my sister, kissed her on the cheek. I hugged my brother-in-law for the first time, he smelled very nice. Then Sherry and I made our way through security, bought a breakfast taco and marinated on our immediate futures. I'm not quite sure what emotions I expected, but it certainly wasn't this. This moment is practically an absence of emotion. Or perhaps a wealth of emotion, I can't quite tell the difference. What are we doing, whose goddamn idea was this? Is it too late to reclaim my promising career in advertising? I’m thrilled. I'm liberated. I can’t wait. How has it taken this long for us to do such a thing? Are we there yet? 
 It seems that each emotion is simultaneously amplified and nullified by another. The clearly remaining fact, though, is that this is a journey we've always wanted to take, always needed to take. And so rarely are we afforded the luxury of identifying such an extraordinarily momentous point in our lives - one that at that very instant we can recognize as a defining juncture in our personal evolution, can stand at the edge and look over at the enormity of our decision and say, "look, there's my house!" - that I feel it a disservice to the grand scheme of the Universe were I not to at least attempt to document my feelings on the matter. But alas, my emotions are basic and robotic, and laughable is my understanding of the Universe's divine plan. What words could my mortal fingers type that could possibly do this sweet, juicy, oozing moment justice? Plus, I have to pee. Savagely. Brutally. Painfully. I have to pee.


rob said...

Holy Moses. Brandon, this piece is some truly amazing writing. Can't wait to read more. Thanks for sharing.

terryo said...


More of this. Much more of this.

I'm so thrilled for the both of you, and in my own way, I'm familiar with that lack of emotion/overswelling of emotion. I felt it when I left everything behind for my open-ended Amsterdam adventure.

Relish all of this. Once it's over, you'll miss it savagely. Brutally. Painfully.

Seth Green Looks Like Me said...

Right you are, Terry. Right you are.