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Crossing

I do not have internet access at the moment. So what I write on my laptop is a bit difficult to get onto the net. I will post what to me is a bit old news as the opportunity presents itself. So, over the next weeks I will catch my posts back up with my living… hopefully.

1. The subtle discomforts of transatlantic flight pervade my perception and eventually cripple my thinking as the plane clutches gound at Charles de Gaulle airport. Sandwiched between an oddly proportioned Swede and a foul breathed Romanian I could not sleep during the night; my waking mind has become so dull with exhaustion that its ability to sort out the varieties of perceptions has begun to fail. Words are not so much words as disturbance traversing the air, oddly reminiscent of garish colors, lurid slurs, bursts of polychromatic light. Everything I hear is in French, which at this moment sounds like a clamour of brass instruments tooting through the mouths of a people with highly expressives facial muscles. My head hurts. I want to collapse in a bed.

2. Despite the cramped seats that kinked my legs, numbing my ass and prodding my thighs with pins and needles, Air France offered an impressive meal — this is, after all, the airline of the French — giving the passengers their choice of wine or beer or cocktail, salad, the option of pasta or veal. The food was surprisingly palatable; I have come to expect Delta standard fare of cardboard-like slices of chicken and strange vegetables masquerading as carrots, both of which engage in a vaudevillian grotesque when reaching the stomach.

In the morning, we were served plates of cold cuts and cheese, with our choice of tea or coffee. Flipping through the slimy slices of meat shuffled with varieties of cheese that I cannot yet name, I feel my guts twist in warning, but I ignore them, tear off a cold hunk of what I take to be ham and pop it in my mouth. Three meaty chews: hambursting saliva squish of flavor squirts around my mouth sloshing over the stagnant dirttiness of my unbrushed teeth. My throat tightening I reach for a bit of the cheese to efface the taste of what could have been ham. Mercifully, I have some orange juice left to wash down the halfmasticated mass. I finish the cheese and leave the meat.

3. The sky above the shuttle bus that transfers me from De Gaulle to Orly hangs grey, giving the sighs of cars that speed faster by a stage from which to play. I have stuck in my head an old radiohead song, from OK Computer, the name of which I cannot remember. Suberranean Homesick Alien? The Tourist?

4. My second landing takes place from the mediterranean, the plane having pulled a long circle over the sea to reverse its direction back to the north. I suppose this is to ensure that overshooting the runway does not spill a wreck into the waters, where rescue would be more difficult. Fires though, would then float on the waves. As the plane approaches ground I get a bit nervous: the runway is quite close to shore; the wheels must be only ten meters above the crests of the waves as we cross onto than sand and thence to the taramac.

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