Saturday, June 02, 2012

Phoenix to Philadelphia

To go from an "A" town to another "A" town (Albuquerque to Ashford), I need to spend the day in "P" towns: Phoenix and Philadelphia. For another $1500 (or much more), I could've gone more directly, but I'm in the cheap seats. Time travel is fun, though. I left Albuquerque around 6:00 a.m. and got to Phoenix at 6:00 a.m. Nice. Seems a waste of time-not-passing, to have gone so far in the wrong direction. Ours is not to wonder why, ours is just to sit and fly, I guess. And to abuse Tennyson quotes in a medium he couldn't have imagined. So at 7:00 Albuquerque time (tonight, I mean; p.m.) I'll leave the U.S. bound for Heathrow Airport. Keith was nice to take me to the airport at 4:20. a.m.

This isn't what I should be doing, but I don't want to do what I should be doing. That would be trying to figure out the forms I need to fill out online to confirm what I said in February, that I would speak at the HSC conference. I was assured then that a contract would be sent soon. I finally heard from them again a couple of weeks ago, just before I was leaving for Massachusetts and Oregon/Washington. And I need to find the two receipts for what I paid for flights (the original and the replacements after the dates were changed) for the Florida conference.

I'm really looking forward to both of those events, and I hope a bunch of you (people reading this, if you're in the US and can afford to go) will be there! I'm going to have fun! I'm going to be a charming and inspirational speaker! But today I'm going to avoid "doing the paperwork" (paperless though it will be).

I'm at US Airways Gate A-25 just in case anyone wise in the geographical ways of Phoenix Sky Harbor wants to picture me. I'm across from a cooler of sandwiches and drinks with those typical-to-southern-Arizona strips of heavy plastic, overlapping, that people reach through to get their food, so that the cold doesn't get sucked out by the (even air-conditioned) heat.

When the plane came in, and it was six in the morning, we were warned that it was really hot outside, and were asked to close the window shades in the whole plane so it wouldn't get too hot while sitting.

I would take a photo of myself, but people get testy about having strangers take their photos in places likethis. I saw a family clearly headed to a wedding--the 20-yr-old-looking girl had a green dress in a big plastic bag. Bride's maid business. But she and the other young woman in the party of eight were wearing fleece pajama pants and t-shirts and looked tired. They wouldn't have wanted their photos taken. The two moms with three kids trying to get to a Mexican town I have never heard of, who had missed a flight, would not have wanted their pictures taken. And it's crowded now, at 10:30 in the morning.

I'm trying to look at it as my last day in the U.S. for seven weeks and some. Familiar clothes, drinks, food. Little kids whose accents I can understand (even the Spanish-speaking kids squealing and running, not knowing their poor moms were stressing out--good for the moms to let them play in peace). Familiar desert-camouflage fatigues.

There were two little kids singing loudly and with feeling

I like to eat, eat, eat
Apples and bananas
but they didn't seem to know any more than the first two lines of the song. I was tempted to sing on through it with different vowels and the full tune, but nah... And I thought that song might not even work outside of north America, because the internal rhyme would fail.

My two days at home were spent packing some things to mail and 63 books to ship in five boxes to three different Amazon distribution warehouses; in doing laundry and re-packing (Keith helped). Thursday Marty and I went to get him a new phone and we went to lunch and that was nice. Friday Holly and I went shopping for a dress for her to wear to a wedding, and found one the salesman and I really liked (at a kind of rastafarian import kiosk at the mall) and one she really liked at Anthropologie. Holly noted the different sales strategies: The rasta guy assured her she would be the only girl in Albuquerque with that dress. The attendant in the fancy dressing room at Anthropologie told her the dress was selling very well.

1 comment:

kelli said...

Hope you have safe and happy travel times! It's fun reading about your adventures! :)