We’re landed in Nairobi and waiting for the new crew to board our (let me check the pocket card) Airbus A 330. Then on to Brussels. My wife has been in that state of flux between trying not to cry and trying to stop crying since we last caught our friends in our arms and tried to renegotiate the goodbyes we knew we had to say. Now she’s wrapped in her cardigan, protected from the strangely novel air conditioning, and resting beside me.
I’m not sure why I don’t cry much. People say that you’re not in touch with yourself; your heart is hard if you can’t cry. I don’t think I’m out of touch or steely, but it’s just not something I do a lot of. Admittedly, I probably said less to our friends in the airport than I wanted to because of the softball sized lump in my throat, and rather than pushing through it to the inevitable choke and sniff, I cut myself off and gave a knowing nod. Does that make me a coward for not wanting to cry? I don’t know. But I got that same lump in my throat when we made that short walk across the tarmac and boarded the plane. It felt like saying goodbye to one more friend.