All I’ve Ever Learned

Daniel Lanza

As I stand on the curb under a faded blue sign labeled “Baggage Claim” I start to wonder what I could do if no one shows up. When I was younger, I used to wish I that I could fly and standing here at Charlotte International Airport, I realize that I should have been more specific.

The wind is cold, even by mid-December standards. Around me families huddle together, dreaming of destinations that are finally a car ride away. For a moment, I consider turning back. I could walk up to the counter and buy a ticket to somewhere else, somewhere I’ve never been before. Brazil, Ireland, or Africa maybe. Some place with problems so huge, that my heart and mind confusion seem unimportant by comparison.

I think how easy it would be to re-check my luggage and grab a sandwich and a bottle of water from the concourse. After boarding and buckling in, I could pull out a book which I’d only half-read while the plane taxis. For the third time today I’d close my eyes, and feel the plane’s wheels leave the tarmac. I can feel my stomach rising just thinking about it. That feeling of gravity trying one final time to claim the plane, pulling down on it, fighting to draw it back to earth. After a few moments of struggle, the vehicle would finally lift into the air and rise far above the ground’s jealous reach.

I know I could do it. When I was younger, I used to dream of flying. But now as I wait on the curb and ready myself for another lonely Carolina Christmas, I know that all I’ve ever learned to do is run away. I wonder idly what Scotland is like this time of year. It doesn’t matter too much, though. I’ll know soon.


“I am currently a Junior at Sonoma State University in California where I study English and Creative Writing. I have been previously published in the Sonoma State Literary Magazine The Zephyr. Last year I finished my first novel, and I am currently at work on the second.” E-mail: Lanzad[at]

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