Sunday, March 06, 2005

Reclaimed by my Home and Native Land

And I’m totally knackered now. It will be a 29 hour day so why don’t I just enjoy it? I didn’t really get any sleep last night. I am terribly paranoid when it comes to thinking that I’ll miss my flight. I couldn’t sleep, I tossed and turned, and then when Johnny dropped me off at the airport this morning about an hour before departure from Lisboa, I ran around like a neurotic chicken trying to find which gate was which. I made it just in time to prematurely try to board before my number was called, at which the stewardess kindly told me to wait my turn, and I realized my little holiday was over. As I felt the inertia of the plane lift off, I watched the cute Air Portugal planes on the ground, and saw the Portie's get smaller until they were the size of lady bugs.

It was a hell of a long flight. I like flying, but I never like flying back. I should think of that next time I plan on escaping halfway across the world. Not that that would stop me. I too easily outsmart myself. But really, those pillows they give you are ridiculous, and even when you lean your seat back you’re still sitting up, my spinal column just crunched back and forth as I tried to snooze, my neck tying itself into many variations of military knots. I kept looking out the window like a dog does when trapped in a hot car.

Another thing that made the whole thing creepy is that I was sitting beside the exact same person that sat beside me on the way to Portugal. What are the chances of that? I barely noticed until I saw the pants she was wearing, the same ones she had been wearing, which were Chip n’ Pepper pants. That gave her away. How many people wear those? OF ALL THE SEATS AND DAYS TO FLY! If there are about 40 rows of seats, and there are six seats in each row (which there are) then the chances of her being beside me twice on a single flight are 1 in 240 (so really 480), and she could have picked any flight so the chances are even greater. I was meanwhile reading about the chances of intelligent life evolving on this planet from the primordial soup that covered the earth pre-Cambrian era, and thinking about how many strange things happen all the time just because this is a strange world so it makes sense that we would adapt to be such strange beings, and when you’re in the air the world looks like a dinky little joke of a strange spherical carousel, so actually comparably it wasn’t that odd.

Halfway through the flight I was starting to think I was just going mad so I needed to be point blank with her and ask: did you come to Portugal on Wed Feb 23 2003? “Why yes I did! I thought I recognized you!!” Well, that’s one more of us who no longer needs to register at a special institution. Sometimes everything seems like the twilight zone.

I wanted to see land. When I finally saw something other than the Atlantic Ocean my heart jumped and I felt like Columbus, but it was just ice, then the vast unsympathetic ocean resumed. I swear I saw some other land but it was not North America. The Azores??? Anyway, suffice to say when I finally got to Newark New Jersey, I was somewhat relieved, but I had Douglas Adams to read in the meantime so I tried to immerse myself in the adventures of Zaphod Beetlebrox, Ford Prefect and those characters instead of the annoying movies they play on flights these days.

I suppose it is ironic that I was learning how to fly while sitting in a gliding metal box with wings high up in the sky. I was reading Life, the Universe, and Everything, which was fitting because it contained facts from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, most notably, the secret to flying. The trick to flying is that you can’t be too focused on the task at hand. The secret is in the “knack” of being able to throw yourself at the ground and miss. It doesn’t seem to hard when put that way, but I haven’t tried it yet, because I know it will hurt. You have to catch yourself unbeknownst to yourself. In realizing this, I felt some pride in the fact that airplanes don’t really know how to fly because they don’t do it deliberately. They’re just machines after all.

When I got to New Jersey I bolted like a bat out of hell, but then I had to wait forever and re-check my bags because there’s no integrity to luggage transportation anymore since security went all 911. I was getting worried because my guitar, my Lucy wasn’t coming out of the odd baggage retrieval thingy. My Lucy is not odd. She is beautifully musical. Anyway, running back to the rest of my luggage just before it was about to be removed or destroyed or god knows what by some man reading the barcode with his technology, I beseeched him to radio someone about my Lucy. He did and he disappointed me. “Sorry, no one is recognizing this code.” If you don’t get me my guitar I’m going to rip you, I’m thinking. “You’ll have to make a claim in Toronto.” He said, and that was all. So I proceed to the next line, just wanting my guitar and my case with all my songs. What if someone stole it? Can’t these bastards keep an eye on my damn luggage? I’d rather have my guitar than my suitcase dammit!!! I’m cursing to myself, which raised an eye from the security guard, and I’m starting to get really moody about this airport when the man shows up in my periphery with the added familiar bulk of my guitar case in his hand. “Sorry, they just brought it in last minute.” Oh! Life rushed back into my face. I wanted to hug it, but I would have to recheck it right away, so there was no extended instrumentophilia because I continued on to Toronto after enduring some more re-direction to the next gate and the annoyingly cheerful megaphone thanking me for choosing Newark New Jersey Liberty Airport (even though I did not choose it at all. I was forced).

I did not welcome the ugly sight of the grey dull, white snow from above. Yes, Canada is my homeland, but the trees looked anemic and it was a literal let down to be back. I waited patiently and did my claims like a good boy would and now here I am, in my comfy basement. It will be good to relax and unwind and settle. I will share my trip in reverse so that I can relive it retroactively, piece by piece. For now it is good just to be grounded and not wait in any more lines having to have my passport and ticket and remove my belt shoes, gum package or be herded like livestock. My parents took me in and we shared a meal and I gave them the green wine that the Portuguese are famous for. I have pictures of the chronology of my trip, including some shots of the puffy white clouds from beyond beyonds. Can’t be bothered to get the cord to transfer them to the computer now but they will be, oh yes they will. Today I speak of today but tomorrow I will tell of yesterday, and so on, so the Portuguese travels will unravel. Until then, tata.

4 Comments:

Blogger The Lioness said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:45 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

hey, i'm just passing through. i like your blog--and hitch hiker's guide to the galaxy is great stuff!

12:31 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

hey, i'm just passing through. i like your blog--and hitch hiker's guide to the galaxy is great stuff!

12:31 AM  
Blogger Abdessamad said...

salut,

Merci d'avoir laissé ton commentaire sur mon Blog, et je tiens à te signaler que c'est un parmi les miracles de l'islam.

Merci encore une fois.
And have a nice time

12:31 PM  

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