this morning i await a weekend full of laughs, gaffs, pains, gains and rains (probably no trains). i woke so ready for this to be a friday. i’ve made more travel arrangements in 24 hours than i have in the last year, and i’m excited to get back on the road. i love to travel…not in that dating profile “love to travel” way that comes just before “anything outdoors” or “laid back” in the Top 10 Most Over-used Bullshit Phrases in Online Dating list. i love to travel…in that way where i do it all the time and i still love it…even given the airports, lost luggage, traffic and hotel housekeepers with blindspots at the keyhole level, right where the Do Not Disturb sign lives. i’ve noticed lately that many hotels have gone with clever, softer text for their signs like, “There is a Really Good Reason Not to Knock on this Door” or “Maybe Later?” or “There’s someone naked in here.” they even use DND signs that go right in the keycard slot used to interrupt your sleep or fun or nudity. i thought all of that was an attempt to mix it up for the hotel staff…anything to draw some attention to that sign…anything to jolt them from that catatonic march, before the robotic knock and key card entry…but i think they must do simulation training where they practice ignoring signs and dispassionately dismissing audible objections…like training soldiers not flinch or spill it in an interrogation room.
i’ll need a new book for the road. i like trying to read David Sedaris on long flights, though i don’t generally recommend it. his work exercises several muscles for me, more muscles in public than private. in both public and private settings, his essays work my belly, sarcasm and parody muscles. in public, i get the opportunity to work isometrically…extending and holding, quivering just between “cheerfully entertained” and “my lunacy is no longer disguisable.” perhaps i’ll find his latest and test my fit-for-public-consumption-ness…or at least see how hard i can laugh my ass off without being removed from the plane.
we all have war stories and jokes from the road…if you’ve traveled once, you have one. if you’ve traveled with a kid one time, you’ve got a whole battalion’s worth. i think most comedians devolve at some point into travel humor. i mean, we write about what we know, right? we joke about what we know…we have to laugh about what we’ve come to know or go insane from the inane.
so as i read and fly and rent, and soak in after-work jacuzzis and drinks, i will also observe, chat, collect and write about what i know…which amounts to a lot about places and people i don’t know very well. a stranger in a strange land, alone in a crowd of thousands…i love it there, that space, where i’m just me and no one has a clue what to expect. i love to surprise people with compassion and friendliness, random eye contact and smiles…sometimes even a conversation and a courtesy drink at the airport or hotel bar. i love to fade into the walls with a journal and bland countenance. i love to walk amid oblivious faces noting their expressions of wonder, frustration, exasperation, anticipation and disorientation. i love to surreptitiously pick up pieces of conversation…again trying to hide the humorous or maniacal laughter they sometimes inspire. and i love an airport bloody mary.
a few more days at the homestead before the first leg, after which i’ll see my house long enough to do laundry, pet a cat and smile at the neighbors once before heading back out. i asked the Universe what the hell was going to inspire me at work again…get my heart back in it for as long as my paycheck is in it…and so it is delivered. bear with me, cheer me on, i hope to write and post as though i’m right here on my tan couch in my “library” (aka living room, my “hemingway room,” “kerouac study” “home office”…i have a dramatic and romantic relationship with this ergonomically disastrous work space).
thank you my gentle reader for any Godspeed you can wish, St Christopher prayers you can say, any thoughts of mine you follow…may the road rise up to meet us both.