airports are not beautiful places. they are not places where beautiful things happen; they are places where people sweat and swear and shout and get advertised at. one could easily liken it to a large cattle ranch, with cattle arriving and departing daily at a furious pace—though not so much a furious pace today, since it's our thanksgiving, and most sane people have already gotten where they ought to have got. but the point remains, I do not like airports. I compulsively want to get there two hours early for the vaguest of vague reason 'just in case,' and subsequently end up sitting for at least an hour and three quarters. silly matt. but this one does have free wireless internet service, so I can't complain … as much. but I did have to remove my shoes so yes I certainly am going to complain.
since I've been here I've heard many interesting things:
1. the word 'fuck,' twice; didn't hear the context either time
2. 'this is the first time I've flown since 9/11; I'm scared to death'
3. 'I could think of better ways to spend thanksgiving'
4. 'who are you emailing, your other wife?' (quoth my current wife just now as I'm writing this)
the world should listen to itself more. discuss.
I am now in seat 8D in a united airlines b-52 or somesuch flying machine. more excitement was had whilst boarding (as most travelers suffer from either brain damage or mad cow disease (refer to paragraph 1)). a lady wanted to put her four-ton luggage device in a space the size of, roughly, a shoebox, above her seat. much shouting and whining and finger-pointing and finger-raising and throwing of punches, culminating in the bag's ejection from the aircraft and escort to the baggage check area. in this post-9/11 world, we can only assume that 'baggage check area' means a holding cell in guantanamo where it will be regarded as an enemy combatant and where it will be given a half-hour's worth of air and sunlight a day and no legal counsel other than a retarded orangutan and an uneducated roll of industrial carpet. it seems this is where all my bags end up.
here I see a cross section of the entire human race: the two men across the aisle from me who discuss venture capital and non-recoverable assets like geeks talk about linux. the polite but socially backward japanese couple who utterly stopped the boarding process so they could (with smile-laden faces) put their bags in the storage compartments. the satisfied coy newly married people. the parents with their equally tired children. the pretty teenagers with their smug mobile phones. cattle all.
I'm now in my parents' house in the general vicinity of los angeles. [aside: I used to be particular about specifying that no, indeed they do not live in los angeles proper; I no longer care.] on the very short flight from los angeles to the airport closer to their house (on a 30-seated propeller plane) we saw l.a.'s protective layer of smog. from the air, the firmament here between clean air above and dirty air below is as clear as though cut with God's own straightedge. it occurs to me that if anyone ever tried to detonate a nuclear weapon above the smog layer, the city would be completely untouched: no force in nature, pressure waves and gamma radiation included, could penetrate that disgusting armor. and this filth is repeated in a thousand, ten thousand cities worldwide. it's amazing how thoroughly we can bollocks up a planet.
but back to me. I've once again sorted through all my old things, my dad's old things some of which are now my things but all of which are just things. back-story: he died when I was three. I remember him but not much of him, and as time grows on I find it hard to distinguish between real and false memories, between mental images and photographs. I'd swear I can remember his voice.
I've fixed my parents' computer; I have set the table for dinner; I have made and consumed some better-than-mediocre tea; I have lost to my wife at poker; I have played with the legos of my childhood. I have a family who loves me and for whom I have great affection. there are many and varied things I am thankful for.
I have been at the house for quite a long time and cannot get my computer to speak to the existing wireless network here and have no time- and/or effort-efficient way of transferring this text to an interweb-connected computer, so it is possible that you will not receive it for a very long time. you have my apologies.
so now it is after midnight, friday-saturday night. my sister is staying in the room next to ours, and she is speaking loudly on the phone and playing some sort of music through her computer. why I am telling you this is beyond me.
it is now after midnight, saturday-sunday morning. I've said goodbye to my sister. I've played poker again with my family, this time winning. I've played pool and won. I've played a brainless dice game and won. I've hemmed and hawed about fixing my internet connection and have finally succeeded, albeit only after employing all my tricks and pushing my computer's (and wife's) patience to the limit—and in the end I must consider this a win as well. I really need to get to las vegas.
please forgive some things:
0. the time elapsed between starting and completing this entry
1. its inevitable incoherence and failure to follow any single thought to a logical conclusion, which I am, right now, too tired to consider
2. its general illusion of substance. I promise it is a fluke