Thursday, June 30, 2005

Notes from the Bay

Years ago in China, I was riding a bus that was winding its way down out of the mountains of Yunnan. At one point, the person sitting next to the window on my right began to vomit. After a minute or so, the guy sitting in front of me joined in. They were then accompanied by the woman sitting across the aisle to my left. I was surrounded by a symphony of retching and heaving. So I began to direct it, using my hysterical laughter to lead the group throught the hard parts, collasping into giggles when they'd subside. What else could I do but howl.

I had a similar situation on my flight over the Pacific. I had hoped to sleep a little, to ignore the terror I feel at flying, stomach in knots at the absurd notion than an object weighing this many tons can stay up this high for 10 hours. I mean it defies physics man, doesn't it?
But sleep I was denied, first by the screaming infant who would occasionally shout "Papa!" into my subconcious. Then the man sitting behind me, violently coughing nonstop from take-off to touchdown. God knows what wonderful things he shared with the rest of us.
Anyway, flying the Friendly Skies, I remembered the old ad that featured Gene Hackman and Rhapsody in Blue. It was made ironic by the fact that Gershwin's original inspiration for the tune was a train journey he once took.
During the flight I was happy to finally catch Oceans 12, with its wonderful throw-away dialogue. The Julia Roberts gag was especially genius.

So I've been in the States now for a couple hours. I'm getting fatter by the minute, arteries firming up. Once I get my anti-depressants, I'll sue my parents for all my own flaws. It's good to be back.
But what am I doing here? I'm down in the Mission, man. I'm gonna go get me a burrito...

On the turntable: "The Hopper Room" (soundtrack, of sorts)
On the nighttable: W. Somerset Maugham, "Far East Tales"
Gunther Grass, "My Century"


dr Dave said...

Man... I had cold tofu salad for dinner and you need to mention burritos!?!
Do you know how much I'd give right now to be sitting at the corner of 22nd and Dolores with a special Extra Size Super Veggie Burrito???

cruel is what it is...

-c said...

Yeah, just the word borrito alone turns us all into putty.
"A burrito ate my dog Skip."