Thursday, April 17, 2008

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose

Heading through the airport recently, I felt like I was walking through a world designed especially for and around me. It happens on some days, the planets align for you. In the words (somewhat) of Douglas Adams: "The universe speaks to you in a distinct voice and it says yes". I see it most not in the things that go right or the luck that attends my endeavours but in the manner of the strangers I encounter.

That night people were radiant towards me, they smiled, they chatted, wanted to know what I was doing or where I was going. They were responding to something in me, though I was as unsocial as I usually am. It might have been joy. It had been a few months since I left the country (surprising how quickly I got used to travelling often), so walking into an airport again to go somewhere, anywhere, was a pure, heady blast of oxygen.

It was also my first trip after quitting the habit. It was interesting to observe that the "smoking room" signs sparked the strongest wistful craving I'd felt in a while. At the same time, not needing to go to the smoking room for that last, essential cigarette was a pure, heady blast of freedom.

Perhaps it was the unaccustomed oxygen level in my cells.

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