i am 3 hours early. i am seated with a group of people who won't even be on my flight because they are all bound for minneapolis on a plane that currently occupies the gate that my plane will occupy eventually.
this is due, in most part, to my wife being a worry-wart.
she must've told me four times in the last few days, "don't miss your flight."
and i am susceptible. i get bent out of shape. i let it infiltrate my consciousness. it feeds on the logic centers of my so-called brain.
that, and partly because i have spent very little of the past five days alone with my thoughts, i just decide, fuck it
. i'll give me some "me" time, albeit at the sea-tac airport. suffice to say, it would take an act of god to prevent me from making my flight.
no one writes anymore. not "write" like stories and novels. i think even more people are doing that than ever before. and not well. and about subjects that probably interest very few readers.
but in the snack/magazine shop near gate s6, i had to search like a cryptologist/archeologist to discover a pad of paper n pen.
$4.44 later and i am seated on the end of a series of seats with cracked vinyl, back to a large window with a view of the movable causeway jammed against the side of a jet that doesn't appear large enough to carry all these people to minnesota.
it is the ideal place to kill three hours doing two of the things i enjoy most: writing, and people-watching.
the latter affords little to occupy my mind. the seats are mostly filled with the standard travelling fare: businessmen trying not to look like bussinessmen, flying out to facilitate that next big merger that will skyrocket their career, elderly couples headed to weddings, families on vacations they don't really want to take.
the flight is overbooked, and as they begin boarding, the airlines employees are frantically trying to find volunteers to get "bumped" for which they will reasonably compensate.
one man complains loudly that he has already been at the airport three hours.
yeah, i am gonna know what that feels like.
the pages in my cheaply-expensive little writing pad are already coming loose, and i wonder if this five-dollar experiment is going to survive the journey.
i have a momentary desire to write something all out, then leave it in the seat back pocket in front of me, imagining that someone would find it, be curious enough to read it, love it, wonder who wrote it.
it seems more likely that it will find itself at the bottom of a plastic bag under empty miniature bottles of alcohol and spent coffee grounds.
which is probably a fitting final resting place for it, actually.
my handwriting is atrocious. i am attempting to keep up with my stream-of-conscious, and tired to boot, which makes me wonder how long it will take me to transfer my longhand into the harddrive of my computer. judging by other writing adventures, a couple years would be a safe bet.
the waiting area of gates s6 and s7 is now relatively quiet, the plane boarded, leaving behind a few people who, like me, have wives that worry too much.
i try to decide if i am hungry. the truth is, probably not. with the looming and daunting three-hour wait, i am bored in advance. i ate a heavy breakfast of eggs benedict and hashbrowns with toast and having blown five bucks of my nearly-depleted funds on this ill-fated writing endeavor, i think i should really tough it out till memphis, where i must
try the bbq according to one of my friends.
writer's cramp and the aforementioned breakfast necessitate a break.
back from the earthtone-tiled bathroom with the motion sensor faucets that rarely sense my motion, to my seat that still bears the imprint of my cell-phone and wallet chain.
in memphis, on the way to seattle, waiting to board my plane, was a lady with a monkey. this seemed so random and surreal as to completely tickle me pink. i wondered if she had checked a hurdygurdy with her luggage.
i wonder if the plane serves hot tea. then wonder if hot tea might be a bad idea in a narrow, cramped seat with a clipboard-sized table which will, when i am not dozing, be occupied by this rather silly pad of paper.
a clearly high-maintenance lady of unkown ethnicity asks two matronly white travellers if they would watch her all-leather carry-on while she goes to buy an over-priced coffee.
it gives me pause momentarily to ponder about levels of trust. neither party really knows the other, and the sweet older ladies might be high operatives in some new terrorrist group, and take advantage of the other woman's assumption that they are harmless.
then i think: and i would be on the plane!
but as i think this, the sun beams through the clouds directly on me, and i think: nope, today is not the day.
it is about an hour until the flight leaves, and the waiting area is beginning to bustle.
this is usually the time when i begin to pick out the people i wish i was seated next to, and the people i will actually
be seated next to.
wish: the two matronly terrorrists. one is talking on the phone, and has a tennessee accent, and they are probably from memphis, and they seem like overall nice people, even though they seek death for the american infidels and want to blow our plane from the sky.
wish: the high-maintenance lady, who appears to to have a small tattoo on her instep, and is eating yogurt from a plastic seattle's best cup while she surfs gay male porn on her laptop.
wish: two female college freshmen who will laugh at the stupid, laconic things i say in a valley-girlish way and regale me with stories of spring break in cancun, where they drank three times their weight in margaritas and had sex with each other, the men's water polo team from lsu, and possibly a donkey.
actual: the pudgy bald guy with glasses, who is closetedly gay in a creepy sort of way, and will be playing scenarioes of sodomy and submission with yours truly in the back of his head while he tells me about the cute puppy paint-by-numbers his wife does.
actual: the tall, pocked-face man with the greased-back hair, who will grunt in reply to anything anyone says to him, snore loudly, and wreak of garlic for the whole flight.
actual: the well-built, clear-eyed gentleman with the van dyke who will turn out to be a cop in a big southern city and will go on and on about the many painful ways to restrain "perps" which he will say like a racial slur.
my flight is actually overbooked as well, and for a split-second i contemplate bumping myself for a later one, but i am reminded of the four seperate occasions when my wife warned me against missing my plane. bumping myself would be a death sentence.
the polychromed scabs on my back are beginning to itch something fierce, and i wonder how difficult the four-plus hour flight is going to end up being.
for fun i watch the other passengers surreptitiously to see if anyone is putting me
on their wish/actual list.
high-maintenance keeps looking my direction, no doubt thinking, "i hope i don't get seated next to him, he looks ill-mannered and unkempt." other than her, i seem to have flown under the radar with my fellow travellers.
i had been tired, with an impending bit of moodiness looming on the horizon, but the sun has burned off the clouds, and as i wait to actually board the plane, a fresh breeze blows in through the space between the fuselage and the edge of the jetway.
my last whiff of home before i go.
Labels: back to the old house, holy shit i write long posts, pierce county motherfucker, randomness, sanity is for the weak-minded