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Cold air - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today... — LiveJournal
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
Cold air
I've just arrived home from four days of comedy debauchery in Montreal, a city I know to be beautiful and exciting but on this trip, I rarely left the hotel. I have been on six flights transversing the continent in the past six days and boy, are my arms tired! See? That much liquor and joking can turn anyone into a hack.

I don't mind flying at all. I'm not one of those white-knucklers during the first signs of turbulence, and I appreciate a certain level of courtesy and etiquette among my fellow travelers. As is my habit and preference, I always ask for and usually receive the exit row window seat. It has three or four valuable inches of legroom and comes with the bonus of responsibility should an air crisis occur. You have to read some nonsense about the safety of other passengers and I pretend to listen as they explain the procedures but I am really there for those extra leg inches.

I'm not one for social confrontation, especially when I was as hung over and messy as I was this morning. My flight from Montreal to Dulles was late so I was one of the last to board the plane bound for Los Angeles. I walked in the door and cursed myself for not choosing row nine, the bulkhead seats with its complete lack of leg obstruction and none of that silly safety stuff. I made my way back to row sixteen and there they were - an elderly couple with the wife on the aisle and her husband in the middle seat, huddled together with my window seat exposed.

I have always apologized at this juncture because I know the growing excitement that can build into believing the seat-next-to-you will be vacant and your elbows can fly akimbo. I've been there only to have that dream trampled on. I looked at them and acknowledged I am taking my window seat.

"Hi. Sorry to break up the party," I said, trying for a jaunty tone but by their expressions, it apparently came as hostile. I tossed my carry-on, Billy's navy blue Bulldog gym bag, onto my seat and stood in the aisle in search of a pillow and blanket. The man in the middle had one lying on his lap.

"Where did you find that?" I asked hoping he would understand my absolute need for comfy warmth. He clutched the pillow to his chest and said with contempt, "We got here on time."

"That must have been nice but my flight was late. So do you know where another pillow might be?" I was searching the overhead bins while asking.

"No." He stated it without hesitation and he said it as if he relished my impending discomfort.

When the drink cart came around the first time, I implored a sympathetic steward for a blanket. The little blue pillow once in the grip of my neighbor's defiant arms was now on the floor with his shoes resting on it. The blanket became essential because cold air was streaming onto my right arm from the exit door and to my left; his knozzled air vent was opened as wide as possible. Freezing air was blowing his toupee as if he were on the front of a sailboat. I saw he was on chapter two of a Clive Cussler paperback. Well at least he's well read, I thought bitterly.

"Would you mind closing that a little," I pointed at the vent. His wife leaned over and shot me a look I hadn't seen since I last saw my Aunt Christina.

"We like fresh air," he answered. I didn't tell him his toupee was now a white flap and the air coming from that vent was anything but fresh. I am very unlikely to ever make a public scene although there are those who know me that would beg to differ. I opted to pull out the Sunday New York Times and I started to read. As necessary, I would turn the page and fold it into manageable quarters. He, on the other hand, needed the entire armrest to navigate his cheesy novel.

There is an invisible line that dissects the length of any shared armrest, be it a movie theater or an airplane. And it is a line that should be respected, perhaps even legislated. Women seem to better understand this boundary, whether it's from manners or fear. Men are most often the offenders.

But I have a trick. I let me arm, my whole arm, rub up against theirs - our arm hairs co-mingling. Nothing makes a man retreat faster. Guaranteed. After my pasta shells lunch, I read an article on Peter Olson, a scary publishing czar that collects stuffed animals. The steward had come through with a blanket and I fell asleep, mummified in thin blue plaid.

I woke up near the Grand Canyon, a place Billy insisted was created by aliens and I wondered how many times I would be making this journey. From DC to LA and back again.

I took a taxi home, jumped into my car and drive to Mickey's to pick up Bob Slobbers. We got home and I watch him as he ran around the house with his tail wagging and making sure everything was in its place. "Safe for democracy," as Billy would instruct him when we left the house.

I looked around me. I tried to absorb everything all at once and forever. Because having accepted the job at Discovery, I realized that my home, our home, now has an expiration date.
17 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: July 20th, 2003 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you! I am glad to see I have a lot of drood reading to catch up on. Bob is just fine and we are about to go for a walk.

As for my asinine interview skills, I did repeat words but I had six meetings during which I could spread the shame.
wonderboynj From: wonderboynj Date: July 20th, 2003 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome home and congratulations!

I use that airline trick too!

: )
From: inkprincess Date: July 20th, 2003 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
welcome home!! I've missed you. Congrats on the job! When do you move?? and lastly, give that puppy a kiss from me! :)
From: pit6steve Date: July 20th, 2003 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey T...glad you made it back home safe and sound and welcome back to LJ. Missed you while you were gone.

Hugs to both you and Bob.
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: July 20th, 2003 07:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
The post with a kicker . . but very good news too. Well done!

Were you there for Just for Laughs. I hear that's a good one, but its a pity you didn't have time to see much of one of my favourite cities while you were there. . .
jdjdjd From: jdjdjd Date: July 20th, 2003 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome home and congratulations. I knew you'd get it.
prowler323 From: prowler323 Date: July 20th, 2003 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
D.C.? Why were you in D.C.? And what's all this nonsense about Discovery and flying back and forth?
From: umkinda Date: July 20th, 2003 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back. LA missed you.
fabulist From: fabulist Date: July 21st, 2003 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back to LJ, and congrats on rising to the challenge of the unknown--and remember that your home is less of a place than it is a state of mind that is, as it turns out, highly portable. Easier said than done, I know (only too well), but still...
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: July 21st, 2003 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
That is the most cogent and reassuring thing I've heard. Mr. Brain understands it but Little Heart is giving me problems. Thanks! I'm looking forward to some field trips though I've taken several with you through your journal. I would love to actually go on one of those with you if having someone along doesn't interrupt the balance of solitude and discovery.
From: danman869 Date: July 21st, 2003 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations on getting the job. For some reason, it never seemed an issue of you not getting an offer, just whether you'd accept it. I'm glad this next door has opened up for you and your stepping through. Good luck with the new adventure ahead!
creamycambot From: creamycambot Date: July 21st, 2003 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Welcome back friend. Call me if you want to talk.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: July 21st, 2003 03:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great entry as always, especially after a few days without one.

Nice subtle trick. when I fly if some one is in "my" space that I don't want to be there I just kind of growl, or turn my music up enough for the headphones to annoy them. Passive agressive as an art form.

How did you weather all those interviews. I always get so damn keyed up after an interview. Hell on the body.

How is Bob now with the past vet visit and this past week? Did the steroids help?

If I didn't say so already welcome back
backawayslowly From: backawayslowly Date: August 10th, 2003 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
But I have a trick. I let me arm, my whole arm, rub up against theirs - our arm hairs co-mingling. Nothing makes a man retreat faster.

I'll always wonder when this happens to me from now on, if it's intentional. It never dawned on me that it's a trick someone would consciously use to get the arm-rest. usually works on me!
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 10th, 2003 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah but if you were sitting next to me and I rubbed up against your arm, it wouldn't be a single for you to move it.
backawayslowly From: backawayslowly Date: August 10th, 2003 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
so it would be a signal that means...what, exactly?

that your arm is cold?
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: August 10th, 2003 03:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. Okay. Right. It would be to warm up a cold arm.
17 comments or Leave a comment