Sunday, August 12, 6:18am air time, somewhere over northern Brazil

I land in an hour.  The sun is coming in through the window, and my mind is on someone who used to call me pathetic.

I could only assume it started out as a joke, but as time went on it stopped being funny. It was never funny, if I’m being honest.

He was the first person I told I wanted to be a serious writer, and with that came a pressure that I’m sure was one-sided. Every time I saw him, I felt like I was in the same place, whereas he was always on to the next job, next adventure, next accomplishment.

If I wanted to be a real writer, I needed to leave home for a while.  I need experience.  I can’t just keep waiting.

Those are the things he’d tell me. Then I’d make an excuse and he’d roll his eyes and call me pathetic. .

Why Brazil?  Because he found himself there when he was younger, so maybe I could do the same.

But now I’m on a plane feeling slightly pathetic and more than slightly terrified.  There’s people everywhere speaking a language I don’t know.  My friends and family are an 18 hour flight away.  There is a girl waiting for me who I doubt can understand me, a huge city I’ve only heard of filled with 19 million people, a whole different world.

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