September 5, 2004

Some choice quotes from the flight attendants on Southwest:

"There's a gentleman up here who is turning 99 today. That's right, 99. And this is the first time he's ever flown on an airplane! Applause. So when you leave, be sure to wish the Captain a happy birthday."

"It appears that someone dropped a wallet on the ramp. So if you could all check your belongings to see if... ha... okay, now that we've got your attention, please give Dave a moment to explain all safety procedures."

"Your seatbelt should be low and tight around your hips, like really sexy jeans. If you're traveling with a small child, we're sorry. Although we do not anticipate a change in cabin pressure, in the event of an emergency, an oxygen mask will fall on your head. Be sure to secure your mask before helping others. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

"There's still plenty of room here in the back of the plane if you don't have a seat yet. Seriously, come on back here. The flight attendants who serve the back of the plane are way cuter."

Singing to the tune of "Fever" by Peggy Lee "Never know how much we love you / Never know how much we care / When you fly with Southwest Airlines / We get so happy that it's hard to bear / We're givin' you peanuts / Peanuts! / Peanuts all through your flight / Peanuts in the morning / Peanuts all through the night."

"Welcome to… where are we…?"

* * * * *

I'm at Nai's now. To get here, I flew first to Salt Lake City, then to Phoenix, and finally to Detroit. Oy. I was quiet on the plane, reading Cosmo and Brontė (yeah, I know), and listening to music. I did jumping jacks on the curb to let Naila know where I was, and then we zipped on to Ann Arbor to bounce on her bed and talk until five in the morning. Yesterday was a party with beer pong and water fights and intense Ultimate Frisbee debates. Last night was cooking and getting to know the little stray kitten and talkingtalkingtalking until well past our bedtime. Today was a four mile walk and climbing on the playground and window shopping and the newspaper editor elections.

It is hot and muggy here, prompting sudden bouts of lethargy and vacant trances, like the one I just had now, staring at the word "trance" and feeling the fan's warm breeze on my face. Whoa boy. Tomorrow we'll go to the lake and wash away some of the heat while we cool off and read our books and write our stories.

Naila is a forever friend. As we fell asleep last night we realized we had been talking for eight hours straight. And the only reason we went to bed was not because we had nothing else to say, but because we were too tired to keep talking. Whether or not she knows it yet, Naila will live in Portland sometime. In our big old house. With everyone else near and dear to me. And a dog. And music and good food.

I am starting to miss Sam. At first I just missed the presence of a good friend who was always there, ready to play. But now I miss Sam in particular, the softness of his beard when he kisses my forehead, the way I can feel him in a room, his good sense and silliness and ardent companionship. He'll arrive in Portland on Thursday. Maybe Friday. I am glad to have had the break from our relationship, but grateful it is almost over.

Naila is sitting on the couch, writing speedily onto a white legal pad. Her tongue is sticking out, and the leftover light of the afternoon is creeping its way past her toes and out the window. I will post this entry, and then get to work on my story, which has been lying fallow for a bit too long, long enough for me to forget about it a little. And so. Onward and upwards.