Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Up, Up and Away...

This morning I am flying to LA.

I hate flying. Terrified of it. Under normal circumstances, I would be doped up, having pilfered a few Xanax tablets for occasions as these.

Not this time.

I’m not a screamer or anything. I am, however a heart-fluttering-lip-trembler. Ascent and descents are white knuckled terror rides.

But, By the Gods, aren’t I lucky! I got an email yesterday alerting me that I am on a Wi-Fi flight.

So, what better way to express my anguish than by live-blogging about it?


I woke up at 3:45am, with a strange hangover. The Kerpatty boys made an impromptu visit last night bearing 40 Ouncers…what on Earth? I don’t drink beer very often let alone the "King of Them". That’s the risk I run when the whole sketch group I direct lives a block away. They keep me young, I suppose.

After a fitful sleep, I lurch out of bed and bumble around the apartment. No packing was done last I toss whatever I can find in my suitcase. Clothes in the bag, boots, what the hell are we doing out there?…do I need a skirt or – whatever, I’m taking it.

I wash the dishes, take out the garbage and head out. Everything here? I haven’t even locked my door and the Magical Thinking begins. Transformers tee-shirt Rebar gave me for my birthday last year (To which I squealed like a child, put on immediately and have not flown without since)? Check. Book borrowed from Notnits, which he will never get back unless he wrests it from my cold dead hands? Check. Human Finger bone. Check.

I treated myself to a cab, down to Midway airport (“The K-Mart of Airports” as Jan calls it. And it’s true isn’t it?). The driver is a smiling fellow with a Spiderman knit cap. Walking up to the Walgreen’s to retrieve some cash I saw him slow down. He called in a dialect, “I’ll wait for you.” Two or three cabs had slowed down and beeped in my direction, but I denied them. His friendly demeanor won him the fare.

At 5: 15 the streets were nearly deserted. Billy Ocean’s "Loverboy" popped on my iPod as we drove past the Chicago Skyline. The view out my window spread out like the opening for a 1980’s crime procedural.

The airport wasn’t all that hectic. I don’t expect it to be anything other than what it is – A barnyard of nervous, enclosed travelers, all astonished at every inconvenience. I spot a group of Navy boys – can’t be older than 19 – all looking like they walked right out of 1942.

The nerves start to ramp as I get to the gate, and I am filled with the irresistible urge to consume. I wander the unsatisfying saran-wrapped options, picking up a shining baked good, thinking better of it, putting it down, snatching up another. Finally, I head to the McDonald’s and get a Bacon Egg and Cheese biscuit, knowing full well that I will regret it later. (Editor’s note: Indeed…I do.)

I am reminded of a performance piece I never followed up on – An actor smashing a giant plastic McDonald’s “M” while Ennio Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold” plays.

I chuckle as I eat my breakfast. Take THAT, McDonald’s.

(When the first oily bite goes down, I can feel my heart Lub, wait a second and then Dub.)

The waiting area is packed. Taking the only free seat, I begin to type.

The woman next to me makes no effort to conceal her spying over my shoulder.

We start to Board. My heart grips.

Listening to: “Heaven’s on Fire”, Kiss

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