11/22/2006

Greetings from a dingy Internet cafe in Heathrow!

For the next week, I'm in England on a trip to see my son. I'm hoping to blog about the experience.

Now I am off the plane. I've made my way through customs and baggage claim, along the Heathrow Express train, and am now sitting just outside the Underground station at a net cafe.

Sweating very much indeed. It's not that it's hot. It's just that I've lugged my luggage all across Heathrow. Now I am trying to learn this keyboard. I am going to have a cup of tea and sit here for the next hour or so, trying to kill time. And I'll write a bit, too, maybe.

I'm incredibly sweaty. It's a mixture of cold and hot. Someone wants me to be lukewarm, which is an appropriate way to think about it.

The plane was full. I sat in between people, which makes it hard to sleep. On my right was a very nice man who I chatted with for quite a while. I can't remember the details, but a lot of it had to do with with aging. On my left was a college girl who I didn't chat with as much. But, between the three of us, we were a bunch of dietary misfits. The girl was lactose intolerant. The man had celiac, so no gluten for him. I was the only one of us three choosing my diet, as I'm sure I could eat anything.

I could really go for a cheddar and pickle sandwich right out about now. And it's right behind me, as well as a ton of bottles of sodas, many of which we don't have in the U.S.

I did not sleep much on the flight. Maybe two hours. I'm going to crash at some point, but I don't have that as a luxury. It's going to be a bit of a while before I can crash. Right now, I want to rest up my strength before I go to the bus station to get my ticket to Hemel Hempstead.

There are so many details, so much that happens, so much water that falls from the sky, again and again and again. Can we collect it into a mighty river, to fuel oceans of narrative? What can we do to make it all worthwhile, to capture all of this, to make it into something to sustain us in the future?

I wrote in my journal at the bar last night, a place called Moe's. It was the only place at Dulles that had a nice vegetarian sandwich. A pretentious place, not that good. The flight was an hour delayed in leaving. But, I wrote at the bar, and a guy going to Indianapolis finally asked me after about an hour what I was writing, why I was writing.

"What do you do when you run out of pages," he said. I was happy to stop writing, so I struck up a conversation with him, drinking my tall Old Dominion Black and Tans. We talked about the football game that was on (Toledo vs Bowling Green) and about his trip. A woman eventually joined us in the conversation. She was from Albany, and was also on her way to Indianapolis.

"My sister is flying the entire family out to be there for Thanksgiving," she said. The sister is a doctor, and can afford it, and also can't get away. My brother is a restaurant manager, while my sister is a housewife just beginning to get back into the workforce. No one is flying me anywhere, except for my good friend Debt.

Because the flight was delayed, I had to close out my tab and check to make sure the flight was not boarding. None of the monitors reflected the delayed status. And, so I said goodbye to those going to Indianapolis, and went on to the gate. It wasn't boarding. So, I went back to Moe's, and they had already given last call, so no drink for me. It was only 9:30.

Except, I asked a woman in a brown casual suit if she knew if the flight was delayed, and she said she didn't know, but she'd check in with the Club World Lounge. She's a member, because she flies to England six times to work as a security consultant. Very classified stuff. So, she invited me in, and I got to see how the other half lives for a bit. It was very nice, indeed.

Then the plane finally boarded, and off we were, and here I am, killing time and drinking tea. Resting up a bit. Communicating. Blogging!

I must get on to other Internet business. I also wanted to make sure my sub for WNRN showed up (she did). So far, this whole WNRN business is causing me to embrace sleep deprivation. I'm on about two hours of sleep, and so far, the hallucinations are pretty mild. I keep imagining someone is sitting next to me. That could just be the fact that everything around here seems to be gray, metallic and wonderful.

Now, to retrieve my aunt's phone number... More later on this evening, once I'm settled in at Dunstable.

1 comment:

StLmom said...

Have a wonderful trip and don't forget to replenish those fluids! :)