Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh the people you meet when you are nearly terminal, I mean, in terminals...

It has truly saddened me that for a brief moment in time even I had begun thinking that this, a grand piece of modern writing brought to you by someone of no-less integrity, blog of mine was to go the way of the dodo. But here you are and here I am frantically writing an encore to a show that had barely made it past the first act. I believe I had left you on the edge of your seats when we had last caught eyes, the two of us, writer and reader, as a giant episode in my life had come by and no sooner left fifteen seconds later. I will admit that given that it was such a brief moment in time the aftershocks, both physical and economical/emotional/cultural (you get my drift), are ever-present even at this point more than two months from the initial shake down. But we all have picked up our socks and done what we could given the circumstances. The land moves beneath us but our spirit is grand and no less modest than when all of this occurred. I fear  we have just become so conditioned, so accustomed to this instability that we haven’t had proper time to mourn as even now the unnamed victims of this tragedy are still being pulled from the rumble of a city which may never recover. My heart goes to all of those in Japan, we know that fear all too well and yet may never truly understand the loss.
I am not sure what has prompted such reluctance in me, that I would constantly turn to a book rather than my own blog but I must retrace a few steps, for your pleasure,  as I am getting ahead of myself. You see there are stories to tell of a different land! A land where the no’s sound like nar’s and the number after five has unexpectedly become the act of consummating a marriage, that’s right, the grand colony of Austria!
“Austria eh? Well g’day mate! Why don’t ya put another...shrimp on the barby?”
Thanks goes out to Harry and Lloyd for that lovely reference but there are more important things to discuss! Such as, a lovely visit with Canada’s most beloved ginger! No, no, not Lanny McDonald (although he comes in at a close second) I mean that pretty young thing from the Island of Confederation, Anne of Green Gables! I will firstly admit that my own excitement was one shared alone but life sometimes has a way of saying ‘oh alright, you deserve a bit of a break’. In case some of you are unaware of the distasteful layovers I had on my trip south I will keep this brief, I do not wish to relive such agony. The 3am from Toronto to LAX was ground for three hours in San Francisco because of fog, BUT THANK THE LORD I HAD A 12 HOUR LAYOVER IN LA! I was beginning to feel quite ripe after the first eighteen hour waking cycle had come and gone, like so many departing planes before mine, so after checking in a mere ten hours before another oh, what was it... 16hour flight to Brisbane, I needed a drink or enough for me to forget about the film that was slowly forming on my outer shell. Thanks goes out to Dale and Verena who seemed to empathize dearly by handing me a letter engraved with the phrase “For LAX: The first shouts on us, but this will never be enough to cover your tab for 12 hours!”. Bless their hearts, for where would I be with a pint in one hand?
I had spent the first few hours continuing my reading of Plummer’s memoirs whilst cuddling with a nice tall Belgium named Stella when I came to realize something quite fascinating. It always come to pass that when you measure time by the drink you often find yourself, for your own good, milking it more than anything and after spending a good lot of time in a few terminals of the Western world, they have more often than not reminded me of barnyards. I was sharing a few pleasantries with a younger lad from Washington beside me but for the most part I kept to myself. So you can only imagine my surprise and sheer relieve when from the next stool over I heard a voice which made my brow furrow more than anything since I had come to realize how much Stella was costing me. It’s true, I swear it was her voice that caught my eye and nothing more for she was two long braids of red hair short and lacking those iconic Anne-ish freckles. She said to me, ‘so how are you finding the book?’ and seeing is how this was the first non-airline affiliated human being to say something other than ‘aisle or window?’, I burst into conversation!
I just have to say that considering the amount of people who are flushed through the doors of LAX per day I can count on one hand the amount of decent conversations, and decent people for that matter, I have come upon in my life. That being said, nothing beats a good story about two people waiting for their planes, never to cross paths again, one heading to Orient, the other, Orillia.   
I praised the book of course because I was truly enjoying it but also because you would be absolutely amazed by the amount of people who have never heard of Mr. Plummer. So with that I was off, ‘oh it’s amazing, he has this self-loathing tone and Sinicism that just makes you laugh aloud to yourself[...] I was lucky enough to see him as Prospero in Stratford Ontario recently, it’s this---‘
‘Oh, I know it well.’
‘Oh wow, that amazing. Are you in the arts then?’
‘Yes, actually I am,’ I must admit by now I felt quite smitten by Megan as we shook hands in a friendly greeting and cheers’d to our introduction, her smile simply permeating as she took a sip of her drink. And although I was completely unaware at the time of who she was or what she had done, I immediately felt quite at ease. I remember thinking, wow this woman has some youth to her and she is pretty damn easy on the eyes. I must have some deathly attraction to women in the arts, they seem to exude a quiet confidence. They are completely comfortable with themselves...and I jump towards them as a cat does with their nip.
I continued on, ‘so if you don’t mind me asking, what have you done lately, what may I know you from?’
It is at this moment where a revelation befell on me as she proceeded to say, ‘well, it was ages ago but I was in Anne of Green Gables,’. And so it dawned on me, the freckles returned, the shining red hair and that dimpled smile which has been draped upon Canadian television for decades. I will ensure the reader that Megan could not have been more modest, despite the phrasing of that ‘bomb’ dropped upon in the middle of what was now a busy airport bar.
‘Yes, oh my God, no way! Yes, I see it now, wow, it’s an honour to meet you,’ I nearly fell off my stool in astonishment. Like a proper ass I shook her hand again and probably just about spilt my third Stella all over the bar.  But this was truly it, a pinnacle of the my trip and well deserved at that.  We spent the rest of the evening sharing a few more drinks and a few good tales. And who would have thought, Anne loves her bourbon and ginger, God love ‘er! She was heading up to Vancouver that evening to perform in a show called, I believe, ‘THAT’ but at THIS point I could be quite unsure. Either way it still remains to be a truly enjoyable experience that I will never forget, even though it just so happened to occur smack down in the middle of a horrendous point in my travels. 
Megan eventually had to catch her Air Alaska flight up north along the west coast and I can only hope that she enjoyed our time together. I am sure she has already forgotten about our encounter but I like to remain hopeful that she hasn’t. I spent the remainder of my time loitering around the terminal, looking intently at the duty-free shops which I frequented from hour to hour. I met up with a few girls, one who was heading to Melbourne to visit a friend and the other (an Aussie) who was heading home to Adelaide with nothing in her pocket as her trip to Mexico ended badly with a few instances of theft. I can’t for the life of my remember their names but they were charming girls, lovely to talk to while we waited to catch our flight.
I had been up for hours, longer than I had expected as the final boarding call became a sweet sound of relieve.  With several bags in hand we lurched toward the boarding gates. It would be a long time coming as I left those sweet shores of our beautiful continent, LAX is not the greatest spokesman for such a place but we were on her soil none the less. Australia, get ready.

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