I am sitting in the quietly comfortable passenger meeting room of Springfield’s airport, waiting for a plane to land, waiting for my friend Belinda who is flying in to celebrate my birthday weekend. The writer is writing, even here.

It’s a tricky thing. Laptop open, bookfile within reach, tape recorded notes in hand, I must be very very careful here. The physical space goes away. The world in my head becomes more real than the one I see. The very time that I spend writing a post would be time that would consume me, should I apply myself to the book. It makes me jittery, knowing that. I could miss the arrival. I could let my friend pass me by without seeing her.

A strange residual effect, this. The world goes away anyway. Real isn’t entirely real. I understand why I never write when I travel—not unless I’ve ensconced myself in a hotel room. I am likely to miss dinners. I am likely to forget appointments. I may not remember to eat. The book is that alive to me.

I will be four days separated from the page; four days in company. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to do that. I am out of practice in the ways of constant conversation. An evening I can manage, especially if it is one as rich and extraordinary as last night’s conversation with Kristina. The me of longer-term shared space is an iffy and uncertain me. Much like the me of airports. Here and not here.