Traveling has come full circle.
It used to be you’d load up a wagon and push across vast distances and encounter disease and pestilence and wild animals and angry natives and hope you and yours lived to tell the tale. Now you are pillaged to the tune of $30 per bag and wedged into intensely uncomfortable seats and forced to survive on two ounces of liquid and three mini-pretzels or throw down another $7.00 for a sandwich that was made last Tuesday and all the while hope that when you get there the bag that you paid $30 to ship actually made it.
See? It’s just as bad now as it was then.
As a further case in point, allow me to share some of the highlights of my day. A day that started Thursday at 8am, and is still far from over here at 6:39pm on Friday evening.
My Blackberry has totally choked (a.k.a. Pushing the buttons does nothing) for mysterious and unknown reasons early this morning. Probably the same reason I can drive down the street and half the street lights go black as I pass under them. Electromagnetic weirdness or personal intensity or bad juju or something.
Anyway, it is currently resting in a ziplock bag containing the seven little packets of silica gel I scavenged out of purses and coat pockets and from one bag of peppered beef jerky. Hopefully that will be enough to cause a resuscitation. If so, my Blackberry will henceforth be known as Lazarus.
If not, it will be called mofo $#@*&?!!, which is kind of like The Artist Formerly Known as Prince except for sub in bad words rather than the stuff about Prince.
Have I mentioned that I’ve slept only four hours in two days?
Plus the half hour I kind of slept here in my wildly uncomfortable window seat. No doubt with my mouth open because my nose is completely and totally stuffed from the airplane air and because mouth breathing is such an attractive look on me.
Let’s back up a second. Did you note that I am in the window seat? Did you suspect I’m rather unhappy about it? I am. It’s a friggin’ seven-hour flight. If I’d realized this, I would’ve had a catheter put in or worn an adult diaper or something. There’s nothing like holding your pee for three plus hours to make you really grumpy.
Actually, ‘window’ is terribly misleading. I’m in seat 22F of a really old tin can of a 757 and row 22 is the one right in front of the wing which means it has no window of any kind. The lady in front of me has her seat reclined, and I actually felt a little claustrophobic for a spell there and stood/kneeled in my seat staring at everyone in the rows behind me as both a challenge to come up here and fight me to a duel of words and just to feel a little less caged. Anyone wanna see how many of us we can cram into a phone booth when this is over?
Seriously though, I may as well be crammed into a box and traveling underneath with the luggage. Which is kind of how I feel. Plus, there’s no temperature regulation whatsoever. it goes from surface of the sun hot to dry ice chilly in regular hourly rotations. Right now we’re coming down from a particularly sweltering spell, and I’m within a minute or two of needing to put on my blazer. In another twenty minutes I’ll be wearing several airline-issue blue polyester blankets in the manner of an Apache squaw. I’ve managed to squirrel away four of them since this little joy ride started.
There’s a real shrieker of a baby two rows back. His dad is trying hard to hush him, but it is not working. At all.
There was just a brief break that you didn’t notice, but which occurred nonetheless, and during which time I was able to escape my airplane cell and went and brushed my teeth (I didn’t see angry signs about ‘water is not potable!’ but I guess we’ll find out whether or not it is a few hours from now) and washed the extensive and pervasive magazine ink smears off my face. I looked kind of like Hitler on Ash Wednesday. Which, combined with the mouth breathing, is hot stuff.
My butt is numb.
There’s a lady three rows back with a great big eye patch on. She looks angry. And the eye patch is very unflattering and a bit gross. It’s white with medical tape all over it. Major trauma more than pirate.
500 Days of Summer is playing on the TV that I can only kind of see from my awesome seat. I was disappointed with that movie. I really wanted to like it – I love Zooey Deschanel. She’s so quirky and awkward, and I find that rather appealing – but it was kind of meh. The problem was the main guy. He was such a pussy. Hey, is that guy the one who was the kid with the long hair on Third Rock From the Sun? This is just occurring to me now. What a weird show that was. I think it’s that guy, all growed up. And without any boy parts.
Did you see Yes Man? Zooey Deschanel was in that. I don’t usually like Jim Carrey, but he was pretty non-spastic in that movie, and thus I enjoyed it. More than 500 Days of Summer, actually. I liked the plot of Yes Man. The idea of saying “yes” to every offer you get appeals to me.
Although in my case, the story would be more likely to end up in a police file than on a big screen. That’s another way of saying I get some strange offers. From strange people. I make streets lights go out and weirdos love me. It ain’t much, but it’s what I’ve got.
They sure are stingy with the club soda around here. I asked for the can and the overly tan flight attendant guy haughtily refused me with the added and unnecessary feedback that there are only eight cans of club soda on the entire plane. Doesn’t he know that the people adding it to booze are only doing so so as to seem less booze hound-ish to the person in the seat next to them? They only need a splash. In my case, I wanted to guzzle copious amounts of the fizzy water itself in an effort to undermine and survive what is clearly an orchestrated attempt to kill me through dehydration and kidney failure.
Speaking of alcoholics, the lady in line behind me in line at security REEKED of alcohol. At 5:30 a.m. Ouch. That’s either a late night or an early morning…but a rough 5:30 a.m. either way you slice it. I shouldn’t judge. Maybe she’s afraid of flying? Perhaps she was given some advice that being super drunk and hungover by noon would provide a good distraction?
Jacket is now on. I almost dislocated my shoulder trying to wriggle into it in this prohibitively small space. Recovered from my near-injury, I’m now considering the first layer of synthetic static electricity-causing blanketure.
It smells like pepperoni in here. At least that’s what I’m telling myself that smell is.
I can’t believe I forgot to tell you this part: As I was boarding the first flight (of THREE. That’s tickets bought with frequent flyer miles for you) at six o’clock this morning, I felt eyes boring into me and was uneasy to note that they belonged to a female TSA agent standing in the jetway. Moments later and just feet from the door of the plane, she stopped me with a snarly drawl about how they were going to have to do some “additional screening” on me, and then proceeded to pat my arms, torso, and up one leg and down the other in a rather invasive manner. Because I look exactly like the people that historically have bombs in their shoes and explosives wrapped around their stomachs. White, blonde-haired, blue-eyed women in form-fitting clothes, carrying vintage Pan Am bags and a bottle of water are continually blowing up…absolutely nothing.
The baby is working himself into a real lather once again.
It’s a good thing no one has come by to do a Cinderella glass slipper test with my shoes, because I would fail. My feet have swollen to at least twice their original size, and I can barely get my shoes on. It’s a true Johnny Cochran courtroom moment.
But it was all worth it.
Because in about ten hours, I’m going to wake up in Kailuea on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Boo-rah.