Monday, March 31, 2008

Tugboats


I step off the Atlanta airport tram to the dulcet tones of Steve Winwood and his backup singers, who implore me to bring them a higher love. Concourse A, like the concourse D where I landed, is full of people pushing and shoving and acting like stars of their own, ongoing movies (several minutes later, I stand in a looong line for the central Starbucks in the terminal,as a chirpy pastel-clad family swarms around me, their son and daughter constantly tugging, twirling, and bumping into those around them, while, their bug-eyed, already-overcaffienated father blathers on with some arcane ponzi scheme about how he'll punish them by taking their cellphone minutes away, half-a-minute, then a full minute, then...It's like being trapped in a particularly horrific Disney Channel TV program). I awoke at 3:15 this morning to catch the 6:20 flight home, a plane I must take because an airline that will go nameless (ok, it was Welta) cancelled yesterday's flight due to tug-related injuries; I have no idea what a "tug" is (The Girl tells me it's a golf cartish vehicle), but one apparently crashed into my plane yesterday morning, rendering it inoperable. I'd forgotten the joys of flying Melta, with their omnipresent professionalism, courtesy, and comfort (did the sarcasm register there? My vanilla latte is still kicking in, and I can't really tell). I'm not really in the mood for pushy kids who look like members of the Jonas Brothers. Back off, sport, and give Shaun Cassidy his haircut back.

The chill as I disembark in Atlanta (my Marvel Superheroes shirt/sport jacket combo is stylish, but not warm) reminds me that spring break is over, and I have to head back to Cineville. It's been a lovely week with The Girl in Florida, full of socializing, food, movies, and fun. Lunches begat movie outings begat baseball games begat dinners in restaurants full of loud, middle-aged boomers recreating a David Brent dynamic with the women they were desperately trying to seduce (never take a table by the bar). My divided consciousness, my multiple homelands: my body is in Ohio, my heart is in the south, and my mind is...where? (No jokes, please). Sitting in the plane in the dark as it rattled down the runway (Pelta always uses the rickety prop planes for short flights), my eyes were closed, and it felt like the plane was spinning like a top. My life tugs in lots of different directions, a state which can be frustrating, but also kind of inspiring: I like the idea of the sprawl, the life and the work that spreads like a sensual blob in multiple and unknowable directions all at once. I suspect that's why I like to blog, as I return to the online home I've been neglecting for a week: it becomes another situating, a me-that-is-not-me, but links to me in some interesting ways. The linear line of the tram-- "Doors are closing. Please stand back. Your next stop is..."-- is far less interesting than intertwined line, the thread that links and jumps, like a plane dodging a tug, and taking off for a new adventure.

3 comments:

boolise said...

Since I'm still feeling a bit vindictive re: Helta Skelta Air, let's not forget the twenty-two minutes it took the staff to mosey on out to the counter after the 4:30 AM "opening." (I think they realized people had long ago started a line only after a Smellsta person opened the Door to Back There and pointed out that fact.)

Or the staff member who shooed everyone along yesterday, whilst keeping people's ID, no less. It was great that she spent five minutes explaining the exact size and function of tugs (when all people wanted to know was what the hell the airline is driving into its own planes), but then wasn't really into explaining today's myriad connection options.

Aim high, airlines!

Brian Doan said...

Melta=Dwight Schrute of airlines.

boolise said...

Hee! It's true! Except Dwight is conscientious when he is not being blinded by his proclivity for the autocratic. Helta cannot say the former.