Saturday, June 11, 2011
Not having written in a month does not bode well for my faithful following of nine spammers and four readers - I have been busy, lazy, and wrapped around the axle for the past month - two long four week travel sessions interupted occassionally by the pleasant weekend of sunshine and Cadence or sunshine and the kids - just to rotate the dry cleaning and head back to the airport for another week or three of city jumping. Pastrami sandwiches at The Hat, steaks in Omaha, and flowers in Southern California (picture above) are about the high points. The low points are tough to deal with this time of year - you see the kids and their mom and dads tooling off to Grandma's for the first two weeks of summer, the airports are full of excited smiling children, and of course, I smile at all of them, and enjoy their excitement remotely - hard for me to get very excited about getting on a plane, strapping on a dress shirt, and making sure my loafers are polished to a black or brown shine. Yeah, this post is not going to be one of those uplifting ones that I pride myself in, it is just going to be a post that needs to get out, and hopefully, the rest of June, they will be a little more or a little less - depends on your perspective. Just a note to folks who think this is Holden Caulfieldish or just plain whining - listen, I am in touch with the road enough to know that this life is a choice, I wake up every morning thankful that I have a choice between scrambled eggs or pancakes or both - I get back to the hotel thankful that I don't have to fill the fucking laundry machine with towels and dirty gym clothes. With that being said, even Hemingway got so down with the travel novels that he decided to torch his brain somewhere in Idaho - the road does not make friends, it makes mile markers - in the form of wrinkles and hours. Just a disclaimer - my spitting venom for the piece.
Seeking quiet in the smoking lounge in the A Terminal in Hartsfield is what I want to do right now. It is quiet up there, and hidden behind the Heineken Beer Garden, and an easy walk over to the Delta Crown Room. That is not in the cards for a few more days, but I have been obsessed by that cool room that reaks of cigarette smoke loosely filled with soldiers and business people, it takes away most of all those thoughts you get when you are captured in the conference room, chained to the desk by your need to move further, or sinking in the mattress of your hotel room wondering when you are going to fall asleep. You know, life gets longer in hotel rooms, particularly when you are on night 81 for the year in Hilton properties, and numerous other nights in other places that you don't have traveller club memberships to. Those nights are the longest nights. Generally, between the bottle of red wine, or the bowl of ice cream, there is little peaceful sleep, there is hotel sleep. You know you don't have to make the bed, and that there are convenient and sterile little bottles of shampoo on the bathroom counter. There are clean white towels, and modestly comfortable chairs to assist in staring at the wall. Those designers want to make us comfortable in modern settings, and if it were practical, I would tote my rocking chair and my old brass ashtray every where I went - but I will settle for the quarterly gift baskets they ship out and the little trinkets that I collect along the way.
I slept last night for about two hours on a shag tan carpet, too scared that I might not wake up for the three am wake up call to move it towards the airfield in Omaha (which I am pretty sure, at one point in time, was a cornfield), and spent the rest of the day rushing from airport to car to home to kids to dinner to work to phone to whatever came up next. The only slight reprieve was movie night, a rented version of one of those cutesy animated films - I did get the honor of sitting on the couch with my daughter - drifting in and out of uneasy rest - worrying about just about everything and not really caring enough to do what there was that needed to be done. So, as it is obvious to see, my brain is tied in little knots right now, and my writing is pretty discombobulated and out of sorts. The only thing that I can compare it to is my yellow deep-v t-shirt - a few splatches of barbeque sauce, a stain from my coffee this morning, and too many wrinkles to count.
Right now, in the background, Modest Mouse is trying to convince that it could have, should have been, would have been worse than you ever know - and really, I don't want things to get worse - not that they are bad - they are pretty much self generated problems created by self generated actions followed by self generated stress - but man, I just need to slow the fuck down for a few minutes and think about hitting the treadmill for a few hours.
I spent the day going over my inability to keep myself from binging lights and blaring bells and screaming whistles and crowds of people who are not talking to each other, they are just sitting there staring at the screens of slot machines or watching cards slowly flip from the dealers hands. Each card possesses the hope of something better, but really, there is nothing behind that card that was not out there to be had somewhere else. I went to Deception Pass last weekend, a sunny day of driving in a convertible staring at the mountains, a beautiful young woman next to me to talk with, to watch her hair blow in the breeze. The farmers market with fresh morrell mushrooms and good bread, the afternoon of watching the blue water in the pass swirl and suck and push. That's the answer, but I find it much easier to end up locking myself in a daze of blinking lights and the hope that there is something out there that is easier...last night, that is what I did. I sucked down two bottles of red wine, topped them off with an 1,800 calorie dinner, and then proceeded to piss away my limited financial resources on the off chance that I might make a few bucks - if I could tell you how many times I have been wrong about that one, I would, but I lost count somewhere back in early 2000. I cannot keep track of the number of dreams that I have pumped down slot machines one nickel at a time. The Good Times are Killing Me I guess...and I miss you when you are not around.
The summer is here. The kids are sleeping in their bedrooms, and their Dad is sitting up worrying about things that Dad's worry about. A little more self absorbed than usual, a little less engaged than usual, a little more tired than usual - but that's enough for now. I need two days of washing dishes and full size shampoo bottles and cooking meals. That's what I have ahead of me. Two days of six feet in one house doing things together that are not life changing, but are important.
Until next time...