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January 5th, 2020
The alarm blared a stabbing noise. It was still dark, and even under heavy covers Lucilius was cold. He reached out from the warmer cocoon of bed and slapped around until the buzzer went dead. He was tired and it was too early but he had to get up.
The taxi was late and Lucilius shivered in the cold rain without coffee in his belly. The lines at the airport were long and everyone seemed as though they were competing for the worst of moods, miseries breeding purer forms of themselves. Lucilius managed to lighten up with a little curtesy just for the customs officer, knowing the futility of competing with authority. He proceeded after the stern nod and once he was at the gate the reprieve before boarding only created the space to dwell on how much of a dismal day it was.
Dotted lines of rain ran spitted down the window. Beyond, everything faded into the deep gray day. The lethargic herd of people dripped down into the jet way and slowly –painfully- organized themselves in the plane.
The fluorescent light seemed to pierce the retina and reach back and poke a wounded part of the brain. Lucilius slumped into his seat, closing his eyes and rested his face against the cold window. It would all be over at some point.
The plane taxied out and waited in line for its runway. There was always a slight thrill with takeoff, Lucilius thought, but the grim taste of his mind curdled his appetite for joy. Misery wanted to last as long as anything else and it held as much reservation about snuffing out its replacement as any living thing might.
The plane finally met its turn at the runway and with some speed it stepped up into the thick wet air, rattling with bumps that felt like personal slights to the people aboard trying to rest with their misery.
The windows grew dark with thicker cloud as the turbulence increased. Lucilius opened his eyes, annoyed but curious as the light of day seemed to backtrack.
Water streaked in smooth moving lines across the window. He watched the wing with it’s red light tilt and wiggle against the dense patches of air as they climbed.
Then the plane broke through the cloud cover and Lucilius’ eyes were filled with a magnificent blue sky, the morning sun flooding a thin layer of gold across the clouds, now a peaceful rolling landscape below.
Lucilius studied the texture of the lofty gilded sea. It wasn’t until he sighed a deep breath of relief that he noticed how much he was smiling.
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