Lavender & Spit

The airport in Reykyavik (Kevflavik? Eriksson?) is beautiful.  The runway is lined with lavender, the building is slanted in sandstone and gunmetal and lively woods, and the terminal has no clocks.  The only bathroom’s toilet is clogged and there’s no water fountain, though the building is glimmeringly new.  They run you through another security checkpoint and stamp your passport twice en route to the UK.  I’m not quite sure of the day but for what it says on my ticket, which lists an airport name different from the terminal, which, incidentally, falsely informs me that the flight is delayed one hour, causing me to nearly miss my flight while waiting in the same terminal.

I’m stuck in a middle seat with a beautiful woman on my right – she turns out to be a professor of public policy and we talk for hours, my brain exploding with thoughts and ideas, completely unable to sleep, so provocative is the conversation.  The plane seems to be from 1974, with ashtrays and ancient TVs, neither of which actually work.  I’ve been traveling for48 hours, with a brief layover in New York, where I manage to see Jon, Aaron, Harper, Rob, Dana, Christine, Emily, etc., which is rejuvenating.  I nevertheless manage to avoid a proper meal, which is okay because the Shake Shack, for all of its glory, gives me a dose of traveler’s D. Thankfully, though, Iceland Express doesn’t include food with their $800+ fare, so my stomach can stew on fumes alone.

Upon touchdown, we’re whisked into an empty airport though the entire practice outlined above, before heading directly back upon the same plane we’d arrived in.  This This is particularly worth mentioning because it is now that I notice all the graphics on the outside.  I had thought the airline to be sponsored in some scheme by/with Iron Maiden, of all bands, but at the nose is listed a field of visited cities, and it is here that I realize: we’re on Iron Maiden’s co-opted, repurposed tour plane.  The airline is too cheap to repaint their own fleet.  Oh dear.

Editor’s Note: Since arriving in London and sitting down with Rob, my old friend from my Melbourne days, I’ve been informed that Iron Maiden is, in a sense, sponsored by the airline in the sense that, uh, Bruce Dickinson was piloting the flight.  I’m so confused.  I’m also here, and I’ve forgotten that I’d liked London once away from the Bridge and all the tourist junk.  The British are great, so modest and helpful, and I fall in love with the old man in the long black mac and cockney hat with the crook nose handing out newspapers by the Ealing Broadway Station.  He keeps staring out into the distance with a subtle smile, as if to dream of the days when he was younger, what he had done, what he could have done, what he didn’t do.  There is not sadness there, but there is regret, and I wonder how he found himself a paperman here at this age, and what he REALLY is thinking about, staying off so far away.  And then I realize, oop, he’s probably just blind.

I get to spend the night in the pub, and at 3am I head to the airport, off to Italy!  Wow.  P.S. I think my camera is broken, so you’ll all just have to use your imaginations.

The End

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~ by nearhelsinki on June 22, 2011.

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