Thursday, November 29, 2007

Doing The 'D'

If all goes to plan... and I'm able to wake up on time... by this time tomorrow evening, I'll be back in the city I called home for 35 months. Dallas.

In the next five days, I plan to enjoy being surrounded by a city of five million people... even if that means being stuck in traffic on the DNT. I plan to spend some time with my friends Lee, Diana, and their kids; hopefully enjoy dinner with Monk and Quinn, for the first time in five months; and park at the approach end to runway 15 at Addison Airport, looking up as bizjets and the occasional Amerijet DC-9 speed overhead at 50 feet.

Oh, and also to enjoy the main reason for the trip... to see Billy Joel at the AAC Tuesday night, a performer I've always wanted to see in person.

I hope to arrive in town early enough -- and awake enough, after a 10-hour drive -- to enjoy some drinks and camaraderie with some former coworkers and good friends from AG, at the only bar that will ever provoke an emotional response from me.

It's not that I don't like living in Albuquerque. I do, really; watching it snow last Friday... as the sun ever-so-briefly hit the Sandias, illuminating the peak in a dazzling pink... was all I needed to reaffirm to myself the "novelty" of being back home. The day before, I had my parents over to my place for Thanksgiving dinner... which I cooked. The following Sunday, I spent all day stringing up Christmas lights on my balcony. Home. Comforting. Familiar.

But Dallas will always hold a place in my heart reserved for no other. I grew up in this city, beginning at the age of 28. I came to Dallas nervously... with an over-inflated sense of self, a cubicle job I found boring -- but did well -- and a fat moving stipend burning a hole in my pocket.

I left Dallas far more humble, a lot poorer, and as a cancer survivor... who could successfully land an Evektor SportStar in a crosswind, and got to write about it for a living. Some would say that's not a bad tradeoff.

I plan to pay my respects to Dallas over the next five days... and give thanks for the person I became in my time there.

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