Friday, July 11, 2008

Ramblings from June 29

I was computerless and had to write this On Paper. Ick.

It's your typical airport scene - random weary travelers awaiting their flights - old lost looking people busy business types chatting on the cell and clattering away on laptops in their important Armani-esque attire. Families trying to get to the next place without driving everyone crazy with their whiny crotchfruit. In the background Wolf Blitzer drones on about housing crises as rain pelts the window of the drab, tired, sagging Newark Airport.

I'm laying on the floor, tired from lack of sleep, delays, frustration and a smidge of vodka. I'm not thinking about all the things you can catch from shoddy airport carpeting - circa 1991. Can you get dysentery from old berber?

I departed London uneventfully enough - after 5 hours sleep and giving the stinkeye to the hotel for not opening breakfast early for my group as they previously had assured me they would. Apparently the front desk does not communicate with the kitchen. The hotel has declined sharply in recent years. Lousy staff peeling paint, tiny rooms (even by UK standards) the walls are tattered & scarred from years of abuse and neglect. The helpful concierge when asked by one of my travelers where the tube station was, simply answered, "I don't know, I think it's really far."

I'm ready to go home. After my arrival into Newark Terminal B and switching on the "air train" to terminal A, I head for security. I learn my flight to Detroit is cancelled. I get bumped to another airline, another flight, and return to Terminal B to check in. The second flight has been cancelled. I return to Terminal A for them to release my ticket, I return to Terminal B to be placed on a third (three hours delayed) flight. Each trip from one terminal to the other on the air train, multiplying in fun as there's an escalator out of service between the two, and I find myself having to lug myself and my luggage up a couple flights of stairs. A long ignorant line of fat people (most without luggage) snakes down the hall from the sole elevator.

I get dinner at a shitty Newark Airport Chili's because I refuse to switch terminals again. After securing my seat on a flight home I headed for security - to learn I've been "randomly selected" for additional screening. I get the full luggage search and thorough pat down. I remark to the lady mid pat down that this is like a cheap massage & she laughs. I'm less angry now as I have time to spare and a vodka & coke in my system.

I'm delayed again now. Writing with pen and paper before thoughts dissipate. I run through my days thinking of eloquent things - often having the perfect words no longer coming to mind later. Pausing at the computer as my brain stalls and my hands wait at the ready... ready for the perfect words to come.

I'd get a dictaphone but I despise the sound of my voice played back to me. I've got ideas written on discarded receipts of stories still to write - with memory inducing headlines like "bottle return guy" and "you're going the wrong way!" I suppose I'll end up being one of those people that carries around little notebooks to jot down those those magic flickering thoughts as they occur - before they fizzle away.

So many stories to tell, so little time...

Time to board. I'm going home!

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