It’s 7 AM – I’m on the computer, Eric’s in the fitness center, working out. See what being in America does? We’re already more productive human beings, and we’ve only been here for about ten hours.
We left home at 5 AM yesterday, drove forty minutes to catch a three hour train to Paris. Our friend Lo picked us up at Austerlitz and what a luxury to have a scenic drive through the center of the city and out to the airport, rather than having to drag our four guitars and various suitcases down into the metro and RER. The checkin process was interminable as the computers were broken down, but in the end we benefited because they didn’t bother to charge us for extra baggage AND we were upgraded to Economy Plus, which is the equivalent of being a cow in a slightly bigger stall but made the first part of the flight easier to bear.
We made it okay through immigration though there was that moment where I was on one side of the glass having cleared and collected the baggage, and Eric was on the other, awaiting interrogation. I was afraid to take my eyes off him, imagining that if I looked away even for a second he would disappear and I would end up pounding on the glass screaming “Where is he? What have you done with him? I’m an American! We have rights!” in my best Jodie Foster imitation.
Like Hal Philip Walker’s campaign speech that plays endlessly throughout Robert Altman’s Nashville, so the Democratic convention blared out of every TV set in every corner of the airport. I picked up a copy of the Washington Post to try to get some idea of what was going on, but that only seemed to make things worse.
The next part of the journey, from DC to Portland, I spent in a partial coma because I just couldn’t stand being on a plane anymore. I’d forgotten to get some American cash in the airport and with only about ten quarters between us, I didn’t have the price of a glass of wine. As flying is at very least a license to drink wine no matter what time of the day or night, I felt let down, but in the end it was probably for the best. Because it’s early morning now and we’re already getting things done. At least until the jet lag wears off.