Airplane travel is a suspension of time.

This is what I think as, for the second time this summer, a jet plane taxies down a Houston runway and lifts into the air, the city spread out below with a beauty that shines only in the dark.

It’s hard to really comprehend that not even twelve hours before I perched on a bench in the stifling heat of Clute Park for Across Life’s Mosquito Festival performance, and just a few hours after that I curled up with Penny, my ditzy, klutzy, adorable red heeler, to catch a few hours’ sleep. (To no avail, of course, but that’s not her fault.) Up at 2:30 a.m. Get dressed, grab bags, and climb into the backseat of Dylan’s dad’s truck for an hour’s drive to the airport. I can honestly say I haven’t done an early-morning flight like this in years, while my parents and I used to do them every summer. Now, it’s 6:07 a.m. Houston time as I type, and I wonder where these past hours escaped to, even though I know.

The sun peeks over the horizon now; soon, we’ll land in Atlanta, and then we’re off to Cancún for exactly the kind of vacation I’ve always dreamed of: sunny warmth, white sand, and blue water.

Time moves forward as slowly as an airplane feels, but we’re on our way.

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