The Flight Home


Sweet Lucienne,

I hope everything with you is well. I can’t believe it has been so long. I still remember driving out of Phoenix at night with Will in the backseat. He was just born—not twenty-four-hours old—and we were still on so much meth. It’s a wonder he’s okay now. That was a ball—an absolute ball of a time! Well, anyhow…

Me and the old lady are thinking of moving down to North Carolina, you know, to change. Change is sometimes good, every once in awhile. We’ve been down there a few times already, and our longing for the Carolina sky seems to linger.

Excuse me, Miss? I’ll have whatever red wine you’ve got. Yeah, yeah, that’s great. Thank you.

I haven’t seen you all in quite some time. I very much miss twirling in the soft glow with you. 

Maybe we can meet up again soon—for old times’ sake. I’m sure it would be a wild ride to see the changes. Will is big as ever, and having his own adventures and pursuits. I probably won’t ever tell him what happened when he was smaller than a watermelon. 

You a writer? Well, you should get a bigger notebook to really lay out your thoughts. It makes it a lot easier. Right now I’m working on a letter to a dear friend of mine. What brings you on a flight to North Carolina?

“Oh, I live there—just heading home after a five hour wait at La Guardia.”

Yeah? We’re thinking of living here. I’m originally from Buffalo—my wife, too. How do you like it?

“I mean, I’m eighteen and have lived here for eighteen years so I can’t really compare it to anything else, but it’s really nice: mild weather, mild traffic, friendly folk. What are you looking for?”

I’m an engineer by trade and I write poems to send to family and a few magazines.

What ever happened to those plans we had? You know, the great ones? Did we just get old? Where did our lives go? 

What do you do?

“I’m going to school next year as an art student. Painting and sculpture, mostly.”

Yeah? I knew a guy, had an exhibition every month. Mostly worked with the ever-changing landscape and the forms of pottery in the American West. Real smart guy, he was.

“I’m pretty excited.”

So tell me, you said you came with people. Family?

“Yes, my mother is right behind us.”

I see. So, why did you tell me you were eighteen?

I kept thinking about all those undernourished things; those plane rides never taken to see faces missed—or never missed. For all I know you could have three more babies and a convoy under your foot. 

It looks as if we will be landing shortly. I’ll get this in the mail as soon as I can. We’ve got a lot ahead of us. Take care and best wishes. Stay out there somewhere and keep Arizona close at hand.