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.