At least, I think I’m in the right frame of mind.
Packing is like a game to me – especially when I am trying to stuff 10 days and two visits worth of clothing and presents (and an anime-convention's worth of costumes) into two carry-on bags. Planning it all out helps me start enjoying my trip before I even take it. It also makes it easier not to over-pack. That, and remembering advice given to me by my traveling-musician Grandma (who, along with her sisters, was in an all-girl band in the 40s) of rolling all clothing into little sweetroll-sized packets. You can pack more and the clothes don’t get as wrinkled.
As I’m doing all this thinking about what boots to wear on the plane, how many pairs of pants to pack, and whether I need to put my contact lenses into the baggie with all my travel-sized toiletries, a tiger escapes from the San Francisco Zoo and kills a teenager. As I’m looking at the weather forecast (it just finished snowing in Chicago and so hopefully all flights will be back on schedule before I get into the area tomorrow), my brain is tossing the endless coin back and forth regarding fault and blame, wild versus captive, endangered and extinct, over and over in my mind. As I check in online for my first flight (Portland to Minneapolis to Milwaukee), I am trying to reconcile my love of zoos and the people that work there and the animals that live there, with their purpose, their duty and their downfalls.
Something makes me really get a lump in my throat when I hear that there are estimated to be only 40 surviving wild Persian leopards in Russia. Something makes me watch those animal cop shows, where people go in and rescue animals being horded or abused or neglected. And even when the animals don’t survive, I feel pride towards people that work in such heart-wrenching occupations. I wonder if I could. I wonder if I should.
There is still a 120 minute delay in Chicago. I’m not there, but I dream about the delay. Enough time to work on my story, scribbling out new thoughts in my steno pad. Since I’m traveling with just carry-on, I don’t have to worry about my luggage getting lost. I’ll be wearing my big black Druid coat which easily doubles as a woolen blanket. I could find a corner in the airport restaurant to catch a meal and a drink, and plan out the hors d’ouvers I want to make for our little New Years Eve get-together when I reach home. Or I could set up a nest on a little section of concourse floor and read my new manga (Loveless 7), or play Crystalis on my Gameboy. CNN reports that a dead Bengal tiger has been found shot 5 times by the side of the road in Texas. It was probably someone’s pet. Or I could keep thinking about tigers.