Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Travels and Travails

I've been on a near constant move since Spring Break (between Los Angeles, Lansing Ann Arbor, and Chicago this weekend). A full post is coming soon with pictures and thoughts and all, and then a post on The House on the Rock, continuing my American Gods Road Trip planning. Until then I leave you with a little snippet I started writing on the flight back from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Dunno what it's going to become.


You put on your toothy customer-service smile and while the prerecorded voice dispenses advice that no one listens to, you go through the motions that no one watches. Point to the exits. Two to the side. Two to the rear. Fasten the mock safety belt, tighten it down. Always smiling. Put on the mock oxygen mask and give it one good, bag-swelling breath for show. Then the captain, who always souds like a failed radio personality assures everyone about the weather, the plane and the arrival time. Then you take your seat with all electronic devices off and seats and trays in their upright and locked positions for take off. Always smiling.

The girls like to talk. About their kids, always just in college. About their husbands. About some prime time TV show, or the new Oprah Book Club book. Not me. I sit and read. Mysteries, sometimes classics, maybe some science fiction. Anything I can get my hands on between flights. Mostly I keep to myself.

Home is a duffel bag with some casual clothes and an extra set of work clothes. If pressed about where I'm from I'll say I pay state taxes in Illinois, but the last time I was there was a stopover in Chicago before a redeye to Portland.

I live in a constant state of limbo. Shifting time zones and perpetual jetlag. Everything at a distance. The ground far beow me. The people at arms length. Always smiling. It's the closest thing to living off the grid without having to exert any real effort to hide. If I'm not flying I get a hotel to get me through the night, and if I have a couple day's layover--something they force on me from timme to time--I go for long walks.

It's not much of a life, but it passes the time.


And with that I'm going back to paying attention in class, and trying to catch up on homework. Real post soon.