Author: Alan Ryan Garcia

Under the Influence

When I was finally 18 and at home from my first semester of college I told my parents I wanted to try alcohol. It wasn’t planned, it just came out – it was time. All my friends were fairly deep into their drinking careers having started much earlier, 14 to 16 being about the norm for most Third Culture Kids.

When Tears Turned to Roars

While I can certainly see the death of Bin Laden as retribution and understand the solace it brings, it doesn’t make me want to shout “U-S-A!” or belt “God Bless America”. It doesn’t send me scurrying to don my most patriotic red, white, and blue ensemble. It doesn’t make me high-five guys or pop champagne. This wasn’t a sports victory or the Fourth of July.

Now departing: without me.

I’ve avoided doing this for so long and for good reason. But here I am, saying goodbye at an airport, breaking my cardinal rule because I can’t help but use up every second I’ve got with her. We get off the bus and walk hand-in-hand into the terminal, luggage in tow. She checks in, her eyes starting to water. I can feel mine moisten, but I get it together as the ticket agent looks taken aback. I take a few breaths, trying my best to be steady even though the realization of what this moment means starts settling in, the anxiousness gathering momentum. Airports have never been complicated for me. I’ve always been indifferent about them; the only things worth getting emotional about were flight delays and exceptional (or terrible) food at the gate. I’ve rarely been upset at airports, even when leaving a country that had been home for the past couple of years. If I’d felt anything at all, it was intrigue and excitement over what awaited on the other side — but …