The day I turned 13, my parents handed me a plane ticket and shoved me into a bus that was a straight shot to John Wayne. The destination read, “South Bend IN.” At least they armed me with some of my clothes, my Game Boy Advance, loaded with Pokémon Red, and my recorder from Catholic school – not a Walkman. A flute. The stupid plastic freaking flute that I threw away in the trash because it sounds like a bird’s version of hell. Of course they would stuff it all into a pink backpack because they didn’t like any of the boys’ backpacks that were on sale at Pic ‘N’ Save. I’d never been on a plane before, but I guess they thought I’d be smart enough to figure it out. Surprisingly, it was. All I had to do was show my cute little boyish face, complete with the world’s biggest glasses and a haircut that pretty much covered them, and I was through. (Clearly, 9/11 had not happened yet.) I really didn’t know what was going on; my parents hadn’t explained anything. All I knew was that I could feel a sensation that the sun was focusing right in my chest. It was like a light was turning into fire. I was boarding a plane with a destination but no plan. I wanted to call them, but they were already on their way to some salmon fishing trip. (I’m pretty sure Alaska is where they went. They like cold.) So I sat in a terminal seat, with two other adults staring out the terminal window. And feeling like them, I just did the same.