The plane continues to sit on the runway of the Frankfurt airport, the CGI instructional video playing over and over on a loop that streams into the seats. A rare delay for an ugly and efficient airport. This time I leave Germany in relatively the same state as when I arrived.
When I was younger, I only wanted to live with memories. The very existence of them seemed meaningful. As if they could feed, cloth, and keep me happy. If that were the case, this trip would be able to provide for me for a long time. A mostly loving, peaceful and idyllic trip: joy from my daughter, and copacetic interactions with my ex.
But memories don’t sustain me the way I believed they would when I was young. And now I return home to blast apart the fragile structure of the sham agreement that has me flying to Germany four times a year as the only means to see my daughter. As a positive from the destruction, the fond feelings and reconnection I was beginning to feel for my ex will be obliterated and put back in the place where my brain knows they should be. I’ll write her a personal note before the papers from the lawyers arrive. I’ll write, not because I feel obligated, not because it is the right thing to do, but because it’s all done out of love. She will claim it’s ego, but it’s as simple as love.