Monday, February 11, 2008

2.01.08 - In Transit


I'm back in Poland, the land of my rebirth as a 19th century peasant. Now that I've found a stable internet connection (if I part the curtains and prop the window open with a row of Matryoshka dolls and hold my laptop out over the balcony into the westerly Russian wind at the risk of freezing all those precious, social-life-sustaining silicon innards) I'm sifting through my Moleskine notes to piece together exactly how I got here without being kalashnikoved to death by the blessed customs officials at Pope John Paul II International Airport.

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Here in London Heathrow, my nervous system is hitting a shrill, delirious pitch. As last night's melatonin dot slushes through my bloodstream like a pillow, I'm looking more and more Eastern Bloc by the minute. The bags under my eyes are turning black, my teeth are sprouting hairs. At this, the midway point of my journey, it is best just to keep out of everyone's way, lest I be mowed down by a luggage cart or jostled aboard a flight to Kyrgyzstan. I'm hiding out in Zone 27, where all of London Heathrow's displaced peoples gather to chatter in rodentlike tongues, looking like they've been camped out for weeks in front of chronically vacant check-in counters, the airline logos stenciled in Cyrillic or worse. I'm huddled over an orange backpack on top of a black bag, chattering in a displaced sort of way to myself.

At 9 AM (3 AM CST), I enjoyed a Real Actual Guinness at a Real Actual plastic woodgrain table in the corner of a Real Actual Dublin airport pub. Later, in Heathrow, I ate Real Actual fish n' chips prepared by Real Actual Serbian short order cooks, and guzzled another Real Actual Guinness dumped artlessly into a glass by a Real Actual Polish girl named Magda. And she totally smiled at me, the first of hopefully several unprovoked smiles from Green Card-hungry Polish matkas. I can't wait! But I shall. Oh, how I shall wait.

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