We all cram into an improbable flying tube, sit and daydream of the weeks to come. Some are confused and bewildered, so many pieces of paper and an officious human to inspect each one, have we forgotten anything? Others are preparing for sleep as soon as they sit. Very few feel blessed to live in such an age. In the time it once took my grandfather to ride a horse to the next town we will be landing on another continent, having crossed an ocean.
I don't like LAX. No one likes LAX. LAX doesn't even like itself. Eventually I will get out of there, waving prolonged goodbyes to the children I've collected in the past fourteen hours. Children think I look funny so they talk to me. I won't look funny in L.A., I'm the normal guy in that town.
One night of ridiculous luxury, a posh hotel, a long sleep interrupted by a room service burger and fries. Back to LAX, onto a smaller flying tube, land at PDX. Everyone loves PDX, it's the friendliest airport on Earth. I'm out of there in a minute, to the white outlined smoking area, then onto MAX, the easiest light rail system in the world, and the cheapest, they don't slug me with tourist prices in Portland. Onto a local bus, chances are I'll get that driver who always tells me his Missy Higgins story. I hope so, I love that story, even after the third telling.
My room won't be ready, I'll flop into an uncomfortable chair on the patio at Tiny's Coffeehouse, resume a year old conversation with Christian, drink too much coffee, smoke too much, feel ecstatic. Eventually I will drop my belongings on the floor of my favourite guesthouse, where Bill doesn't slug me with tourist prices. I'll sleep, respond to the inquiries about landing safely, sleep, head out to The Jolly Roger Pub, revel in the sight of the coolest blue jeans bar chicks on the planet, eat something, go back to my room to sleep.
The next morning I will wake up in Portland Oregon and everything will be cool. I'll buy cigarettes from the same guys at the gas station, order my odd morning sandwich at Tiny's even though they will remember, I'll greet and meet some old and new faces in South East Portland. I'll write something about how happy I am, drink too much coffee, smoke too many cigarettes, hang out. I'll find out where the playing is that night, work out how to get there, get on with the work of remembering lines for my new show, take my flute out and play with all the wonderful people.
I'll repeat this day thirty times over, until it is time to board another flying tube and return to real life.
I just can't wait. It's all so improbable, financially impossible, just about to be booked and paid for. I'm very excited. My second home, probably my real home, is only a month away.