Tuesday, February 5, 2008

chosen families

Since I was flying out of Arkansas at dark:thirty on Sunday morning, I decided to spend the night with my friends J and J, who live in Little Rock, as opposed to on a dirt road an hour and a half north.

After a too-short visit and too much wine, I crawled into "my" bed, which is always made up for me as if I am the Queen of Sheba, and forced myself into a few hours of fitful sleep before 0500 reveille. They got up with me and made me cappuccino while I showered, stood in their robes on the porch in the dark, and waved and blew kisses as I drove away. What sweet boys.

Uneventful flights to NYC.

First revelation on the ground: the iPhone's sensitive "touch" pad is way too sensitive for keyboarding in a speeding and lurching New York yellow cab. My "I landed safely" e-mail to my parents and J and J ended up being something like "A banjo ate me." Imagine their horror. I'm sure my mother believed that her worst fears about NYC had been confirmed.

I raced to meet Tara for a late brunch. We picked up right where we left off (only I come to lament that we live on opposite coasts more and more, each time we hang out). This time we had a lively conversation about things that are usually shared in privacy. The fact that conversation pretty much stopped between the two guys to my left tells me that we had an audience, who got an earful. They also got to witness two grown women fall on a basket of gougeres with passionate abandon.

Because we were so focused on our conversation, we didn't notice at first that everyone in our area had left, the waitstaff had removed all the tables but ours, and the water had been withheld for hours. Passive-aggressive bastards. By the time we looked up, we resembled a table for two in the middle of a vast, empty dance floor.

We relocated to a Korean Tea House, where T had good tea and I had something that smelled and tasted like squash baby food. But the Asian plinky-plinky (T's term) musical rendition of "Hey, Jude" wafting through the air made us giggly, and we continued on until dusk and "look at the time"--since we both had other plans for the evening.

I can't say too much about the transcendent meal I had at Bouley that evening, because it would be sinful to lord it over the blogosphere. It.Was.To.Die.For. I got back to the hotel 5 minutes before the end of the Super Bowl, just in time to figure out that all the subsequent hullabaloo outside was happy cheering and not Cloverfield screaming.

Meeting the next day. Blahblah.

Got to Newark for my 6:45 PM flight at 4:30. That would have been fine, except for the fact that my flight didn't actually leave until 9:45. The plane had been a victim of a bird strike, which meant lots of cleaning, checking, and maintenance men coming out with tales of carnage afterwards. The pilot warned us not to be alarmed if we smelled a Thanksgiving turkey sort of odor as he fired up the engines. TMI. Let us live in ignorant bliss, please.

After 6 hours of flying (and sleeping a bit, thanks to the Not Full Flight Gods, the incantation of a helpful friend, and a row to myself), I got home. Thankful to have spent time with my family, both blood and chosen, thankful to have friends in all corners of the world, and thankful to have a wonderful Tempur-pedic mattress to come home to.

I'm not particularly thankful that the Giants won the Super Bowl. I had about as much investment in that game as in, um, some other thing in which I have little investment.

No comments: