Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Frankfurt 5.8.1998: Homeward Bound, Bound by Home

Sitting in Frankfurt airport waiting for the flight to Atlanta, which is not to board for another two hours. Thinking of how I hate endings, have most problems with them in anything I wrote. And yet I seem fatally attracted to them, too, or at least to the closure they represent. That restlessness at the core of my being, waiting and seeking for what?

Traveling to Europe this time felt like some kind of end—an end in a beginning. And now here the trip is over, and I’m asking end questions again, with no sense of where they’re going. Of where I’m going . . . .

+ + + + +

Just taking off, an hour late, to discover my pen has leaked everywhere. Hands patched with black, as is this paper.

The people behind me—man, woman—have been giggling like teenagers since before the flight began. I’m disposed not to like them because she kicked my seat with unnecessary aggressiveness several times before we were in the air. And the sexual tension between them is so undisguised, so adolescent. Graceless . . . .

He’s a native of the Florida panhandle, a career soldier and “brat,” whose “dad” was an officer. (I know more about them than I’d choose to know.) He persistently uses a “have went” construction. He’s proud to be an Amurkun, and laid it on thick when the flight attendant told him he could be nothing else with that accent.

She’s a German citizen, but speaks a flawless colloquial anywhere-cool Americanese. She’s going to “the States” because of an 85-year old somebody (grandmother?) who needs assistance.

He speaks, and she brays falsely at what he says. She speaks, and he laughs suavely at her jokes. From what I overheard, I’d imagined they were in their 30s at best. But I’ve just gotten up to go to the bathroom, and am shocked to see they’re 50 or so.

And so it goes. Homeward bound. And bound by home.

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