Flying S-SW. 2,000,000 and counting.


38,000 feet above Earth.
This flight is a milestone: 2,000,000 miles on American Airlines.
Congratulations. You’ve achieve lifetime Platinum status on AA.
Another goal chased and passed.
A sigh. And then quickly comes the ‘so what.’

The mind burrows back.

It was the Harvest Moon as we touched down in Warsaw.

It was early morning in our approach: “Sweet blueberry or strawberry yogurt Sir?” Are all the women this beautiful in Singapore?

It was the security lines at Heathrow post-9-11, waiting for the red-eye back to New York. The tense shuffling of feet.

It was the soft flowing arid landscape of Athens.  Hogan whispering: “Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still they say. Watch and listen.” Ancient sacred grounds stirring the depths of the soul. Greek Gods. Feel their presence.

But, there’s interference in my rooting back.
Back never holds me for long.
Back like Jack. Kerouac that is. “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”

It’s one image that flares.
And won’t let go.

The mind burrows forward.

It’s the check-in from this morning.
I’m standing one-back at the Airport lounge.
She’s wearing an tangerine colored trench coat, knee length.
Heals, black, shined to high gleam.
Her hair is pulled back, wrapped with a black tie.

The attendant asks for her boarding pass, I.D. and credit card.
She’s flustered.
She rifling through her purse.
There’s gentle whispered inquiry. She didn’t think she had to pay. She’s yet to learn. You pay for everything.
She turns and catches my eye.
She’s wearing a navy suit jacket and navy skirt. Early 20’s.  Her soft chestnut colored skin, a gentle contrast of hues with her white ruffled blouse.
She steps aside pulling her wheeled carryon.

I know that look.

She can’t settle.
She’s tapping her foot.
She’s glancing at her watch.  And then her smartphone.
She sips orange juice, the bottle held away, careful not to spill.
She digs in her purse to grab a mirror to check her make-up.
She scratches notes in a note pad. And then tucks the pad into her case.
She steps up to the flight panel to check her flight time and then sits down again.
She watches other travelers pass by, triggering another series of self-checks and tests.

I know you. I’ve been where you’ve been. It’s not mist in the morning – it doesn’t burn off in sunlight – it’s Imposter Syndrome:

You don’t belong here. 
You’re not good enough. 
You got lucky. 
They’re going to realize you aren’t that smart.

She gets up.  And catches my eye again. I stare.

Hear me now Young Lady.
Hear me now.
Be still they say.
Watch and listen.
You belong here.
You belong everywhere.*



  1. imposter is a state of mind. as is belonging. it’s tough to get there at times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Would that she could hear you..

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, we’ve been there. I just hope she heard you. And believes in herself.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Does it go away?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I flew last week for the first time in ten years. Its nerve wracking. I mean, my whole life I’ve been challenged by being in the right line, at the right time, in the right place. That’s how I ended up in the library instead of gym in the first grade. It never got better for me. I always manage to grab the wrong stuff from the wrong place too. That’s how I came to be wearing hip pads where the knee pads go in 7th grade football.
    And the most confusing thing in the world to me? Detailed, step-by-step instructions.
    So you, experienced traveler, must be able to imagine what a nightmare it was for me, if only in my mind.
    I was like a cat on a hot tin roof. I wasn’t sure if I should drop my bags off and then go to remote parking. I lucked out, chose correctly and went to remote parking first. It was pitch black, 4:00 in the morning dark. The lady said just go down this aisle, park, and the van will be along to pick you up.
    Really? How can I trust that? I visioned myself standing there for 30 minutes, past my flight time.
    But no, by the time I got out of my car, there was the van, waiting.
    Even when I got back, I didn’t trust the return to my car.
    “How do they know where I’m parked?” I tried to ask calmly, but I’m sure my eyes were a little wild. One could smell my fear.
    The lady sitting across from me tried to calm me. She made a motion with her hands, and said “Don’t worry. They just do.”
    “I guess I got trust issues, Huh?” I said.
    “Ya think?” she said, and smiled at me kindly.

    I wont even go into what it was like getting my bag Self-Checked, or my Boarding Pass, or the place where I am supposed to take of my shoes and belt. I bet you see a lot of guys like me, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Smiling. Thanks for sharing your “story.” A friend recently shared that you “see” mirrors of your own image. So, no, I don’t see many guys like you, but see “many” like me. 🙂


  6. David. These pieces are so glass-sharp they cut through bone and cartilage to Heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Isn’t it something when the most authentic version of ourselves appears to be an impostor?
    Once we accept that we’re all just living our lives for the first time, we can get past the labels and just live.
    In living fully, the frequent flyer miles are worth much more, and each flight is first class.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow. I only wish that she know that you *saw* her. Powerful. We’ve all had to play the ‘fake it til you make it’ game and your description almost makes me uncomfortable at the memory…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We can’t hide from those who know the truth. I see my vunerability in others too, it is so familiar. We both know who we are, and we both sense the same fear. I don’t think words need to be said. Sometimes, it can just be a quiet nod in their direction, which clearly communicates, “I see you.”.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Meant to add, love your writing Mr Kanigan. (excuse the typo…..) I am vulnerable ha

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Gr8fullsoul.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: