Cooper pulled up outside the single-story brick structure, eased into a stop and pulled the parking brake. He turned the key back towards him and picked up his travel mug, pulled the liquid through the little hole with a powerful slurp. Already the coffee tasted funny, that lived-in plastic flavor of all travel mugs past their virgin state. His kids had gotten him one of those fancy glass mugs, the kind coated with impact-proof rubber, but he'd left it somewhere. He only ever seemed to keep track of the cheap ones, the kind they give a person at a rest-stop when they buy enough gas. Maybe he wasn't keeping track of them, maybe he just had enough of them it seemed like he never lost them.
I swung the sword B'Runch and LAID BARE the spinach-heart of POACHEHD, THE EGG-LORD! From DEEP within his runny yolk I PULLED the Stone of B'CHE'MEL, and leapt through the bottomless whirlpool of MIM'OSA, returning to the Earth-Land sated, fatted, and sleepy! WHAT HAPPENED NEXT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!
Nadi International Airport. It's four in the morning and I'm waiting to board the plane to New Zealand. I can feel pressure building inside my chest. I'm a long way from home, and I'm tired. It's been a long damn day. It's been a long damn week, a long damn month. There's something in me that needs to get out, and I'm a big kid, now, I know how to handle myself, so I go to the bathroom, lock myself in the handicapped stall and cry silently for about five minutes, the sort of wracking, borderline-uncontrollable sobbing that leaves a person breathless, messed up and senseless.
Then I wash my face and go back out to the gate.
A week ago I decided to hike into the jungle and hike a rim trail during a twenty-one-hour layover in Fiji. This was my first time leaving the United States since university, when my roommates figured out the strippers in Canada went without even the dubious coverage of a g-string, and so of course I decided to hike, alone, in the jungle, in a foreign nation where nobody knew my name, let alone where the hell I was. In the movies, this is how white people stumble upon ancient amulets that grant them super powers. In real life, this is how white people spend five years listed as missing persons before more experienced hikers find part of their mandible at the bottom of a gully.