Sunday, August 14, 2011

in flight.

As I've grown older, I realize that I hate flying.
It was a strange realization.
I used to love airplanes, the food, the view of the clouds, the excitement of the airport, standing in the arrivals gate. I used to visit the airport and sit at the arrivals gate because I liked seeing people reunite.

This time both my flights to the U.S. and coming back to Hong Kong were delayed. The first was delayed by two days, and coming back was delayed 5 hours. I sat on the floor at the chicago airport, my head pounding while people shouted in Cantonese (I know people say Korean is hard on the ears, but Cantonese sometimes sounds like braying animals to me). The seats seem smaller, my legs are cramped and pressed against the seat in front, I have the leg reach of a child so I don't see how normal people manage it. It's like we have to decompress and fold ourselves into the seats accordion style.

On the flight, the middle seat was empty which I thought would be a good thing. However, mid-flight, when I woke up, I noticed this strange blob right next to me. I didn't have my glasses on, so I kept patting it to try and figure it out. It was prickly yet fuzzy (an animal? a sweater? a suitcase?) until I realized I was patting a man's head. It was the middle aged man in the window seat who had kept asking me about robert pattinson (i guess he had a fascination with water for elephants.)
"hey uh what's this movie about."
"um they're training an elephant."
"oh... that's neat."
(10 minutes later) "tell me about the guy that's in this. he famous at all?"
"I suppose."
(5 minutes later) "he's that vampire right?
"Yes. I think so."
(during love scene) "they make a good looking couple don't they.. they got that necessary chemistry. you know these things don't work without chemistry."
"i guess."
"yea that type of chemistry is hard to find. hit or miss."
"well actually. they've been in a movie together before.
"oh no way.. well that makes sense, good chemistry."
"yea. he played her son in vanity fair."
end of conversation.

Anyway this pleasant man had thought it would be ok to lie down so that his head was practically in my lap.


Friday, August 5, 2011

third wheel

My parents have been married for 30 years. It wasn't until this summer that I realized that even after all this time they act like a honeymooning couple.
They still walk with their hands clasped in public; they sit on the same side of the table at restaurants; in the evenings, they spend hours talking to each other and laughing, my father always walks around the car to open the door for her; and every night even though he hates it, they take an hour long hike around the park.

My father works a few states away, but he flies back every Friday and always gets to the airport early in the morning so he can wait on stand-by. This is a person who refuses to step into a Starbucks because the background music is too loud and "heathenish."
I'd never thought of him as being particularly romantic, but I realized that was a really sweet gesture, and someone who truly loves his wife.

It's been disconcerting for me to feel like the third wheel, an over-grown awkward daughter. They actually forgot about me when we went out to dinner, I had gone to the bathroom, and when I came out, they were gone.
I called my mom from the hostess's phone in a semi-panic, what had happened, had something gone wrong? Medical emergency? No they'd just forgotten, paid the bill and left. They had laughed, hysterically... ha ha our kid? what kid?
And then I saw them walking back to the restaurant, slowly strolling hand in hand to come claim me.

I suppose it was cute.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

the following has been approved for..

My dreams have been so violent lately I wish they'd come with a guidance rating before they start. like hey tonight will be R, there'll be chainsaws and decapitations involved so get your mind glove on.
Tonight is pg-13, but R for emotional trauma - people are going to butcher your dog and you'll have to shoot and quarter them.
Tonight is NC-17, multiple decapitations, a face stabbing and some disturbing nudity.

(Speaking of ratings my friend and I got carded going into watch friends with benefits -yea chick flick - and rated R as it happens.
I didn't realize what was going on til after - I just thought the lady was trying to see id for my credit card, so I was offended when she quizzed me on what year I was born and how old did that make me.
I tend to get nervous being carded for any reason - even if it's legitimate like being questioned at the airport, so my reply was a stutter and it sparked an inner monologue and crisis of oh goodness how old am I? 22? 24? No 25.. like a quarter century but no that's still young very young age is a number, keats had written his poems by then, wait he was dying by then and uh "uh 25?"
This only made her more suspicious. But we got in and had a nice mindless two hours of chick flick fantasy, and it erased my momentary mental crisis.)

Anyway being trapped in dream space, thankfully there is still some cognition and power. I always end up taking control, even if it means chopping and slashing my way out, "ugh gosh I have to chainsaw you again?" "quartering? ugh why so old fashioned?" but I suppose that's a relief. I just wish there would be some beautiful dreams within the nightmares.
I showed my mother the movie Inception thinking she'd be amazed but she was profoundly unhappy that the "bad guys won"
"What? No he goes home to his kids."
"They were criminals."
"But that was a bad company they were turning to a monopoly."
"They manipulated that poor boy. I don't like stories where the bad guys win!"
And that was the major debate we had about the movie.
Not whether it was a dream or the top spinning at the end, which she said wasn't the point, "who cares he's a criminal! Dream or not hes a criminal in both!"
Oh. True I had never thought of it that way. As she said, I suppose I missed the point of the story.

If I had that sort of pragmatism/ resolve, I would probably never have bad dreams. They wouldn't dare to occur.