Julia woke up abruptly after the first wheels touched the runway. She realized it wasn’t a dream after the two or three bumps that followed. The pilot worked to slow the plane.
She looked out the window and exhaled a deep breath at the gray and rainy day, as it if were an omen of the times ahead.
Although desperate to stretch her legs, she refused to be one of those passengers who stand up before the seatbelt sign is off. This was much to the despair of the man seated in the window seat, who kept looking at her and fidgeting uncomfortably. “It’s not like you can jump ahead of all the people anyway,” she thought to herself, but refrained from making any comment. Julia knew she wasn’t in the best emotional state. Two layovers and a 13-hour flight for the last leg of her trip definitely did not help her mood. She was tired, scared, nervous, anxious, hungry, cold – but trapped by the stickiness and heat exuded by the other ~200 bodies on the plane. And on top of all that, she really had to pee. Her main priority was to reach the nearest bathroom with some dignity left. Then, she’d worry about the rest.
“Finally, they are moving,” Julia thought with relief. She was in the middle of the plane, so she’d still have to wait her turn, but there was something demoralizing about being in a line that’s not moving. The feeling of being stuck was terrible. When her turn arrived, she grabbed her things and moved to the aisle, more slowly than she should normally have done. She wanted to annoy the man in seat A. Why? She didn’t know. Perhaps he also urgently needed to use the restroom. Anyway, it felt like a small victory. Or maybe it was just the feeling of power, the only bit she had left – as she sensed that any power she had ever had over her life was gone. Pricked by a tinge of guilt, though, she let the guy go first; after all, she knew he would be following her otherwise.
Luckily, she found a restroom and, after relieving herself and quickly freshening up, she felt much better, almost like a human.
She hadn’t wanted anyone waiting at the airport. In fact, she hadn’t even told most people she would be there. She still had many things to figure out, many decisions to make and, most of all, many facts to come to terms with; facts that had forced her to start over once again.
There was some background music playing softly in the ceiling; the tunes of the tango Volver. She hadn’t liked tango much when she was a girl, but, with the years, she had learned to appreciate the power of its lyrics and the sweetness of its melody. It also reminded her of her grandmother who would softly sing to her and lived during the halcyon days of tango in the 20s and 30s. She would imagine her dancing with her grandfather at the city square. She wished she had asked more about her life, her experiences. “Am I getting older or dumber?” Julia thought to herself. “Who cares about Tango and the birthplace of its most famous singer?!” she continued to herself. “Uruguay, we all know that,” a calm and firm voice replied in her mind. “Yes, we do,” she replied back, settling the matter and finding some peace that at least some things remained the same. That gave her certain comfort. This song in particular touched a nerve that had been slowly swelling and was now ready to burst. “To return, with a wrinkled forehead, the temples turned silver by the time’s falling snow…” She felt all that and much more. She had gone to live a life, to fulfill a dream and grow… leaving her people behind. She had chased new memories that would never be created, just to challenge herself to overcome all difficulties without a safety net, and succeed. Succeed… such an overestimated and evasive word.
(…to be continued…)
Transadaptation Volume 4 – Material Dissent
January: A Blinding Light and Then, All Darkness – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)
February: The Opportunist – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)
March: A Stranger in my City – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
April: A South African Soundtrack – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)
May: Full Circle – Ina Maria Vogel (Germany)
June: La Lluvia en Bogotá – Adriana Uribe (Columbia)
July: Freedom – Krisztina Janosi (Hungary)
August: A Bus Ride – Svetlana Molchanova (Russia)
September: Transcendence – Armine Asryan (Nane Sevunts) (Armenia)
October: Motherhood – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
November: To be announced – (hopefully) Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
December: Open – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
Background – Context
Transadaptation Volume 3: Evanescent – Young Adulthood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2022)
Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)
Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: Punta del Este, Uruguay – Fog – Pedro Slinger (Unsplash)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed