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Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore

February 5, 2012

The trip back to New York today was not uneventful. I arrived at O’Hare to find it nearly deserted at the curb — maybe everyone is home getting ready for that football game I’ve been hearing so much about? But despite the lower population density, the security lines were much longer than usual, so I was glad to be a little early. I finally made it through and headed to the gate. The plane had already arrived. Everything was looking good. We boarded on time and got seated early. The plane was only half full and I had an empty seat next to me. I looked out the window and there were a lot of enormous men wearing safety vests standing around scratching their heads. And they didn’t look like baggage handlers. Sure enough, a few minutes later, the captain came on to inform us that the flight had been cancelled.

I’ve been here before. Several times, in fact. It happens quite a lot. But it doesn’t get any less annoying. Fortunately, I wasn’t missing an evening with Cranky and Baby J, or I would have been steamed. But they are on vacation so I was only missing a trip to read the cheese at the Westside Market. I bought myself a salad for lunch and ponied up to the laptop bar, where I drafted part of my final chapter and sketched out the rest before it was time to head to gate number 2. The next flight went better. A lot of people had come from my flight and were very distressed about missing the big game. So, I think was the captain, who announced, “If you’re a Jets fan, we’re going to be landing about 8:20. If you’re a Giants fan, we’ll be landing at exactly 20:20 Eastern Standard Time. If you’re a Patriots fan, we’ll be landing when Mickey’s little hand is on the eight and his big hand is on the four.” He also gave us regular updates on the score, which resulted in lots of smiles and a little cheering. The captain got a round of applause from the front of the plane when we landed.

As we started to get off, the lights suddenly went off. They stayed that way for a few seconds longer than was comfortable when someone shouted, “HOUSE LIGHTS!” AND they went back on. Actors. They’re everywhere in this town. The airport was completely empty, but was decorated like it was a party, with helium balloons lining the exit to the gate and these signs everywhere:

Car service was super speedy, aided by the complete lack of traffic. I’m starting to wish it was always Super Bowl Sunday. I think both the apartment next door and the one across the hall are having parties. I could hear people yelling as I fumbled with the keys. It made me appreciate how soundproof the walls are, because I could hear almost nothing once I got inside. There’s a good energy here in the apartment. I can’t explain it, exactly. I wonder if its other occupant got some extra good work done here today. There’s a new poster tacked over the craft paper that covers the glass windows of the room I sleep in, a reproduction of a 1953 poster for a production of Tosca at La Scala with Renata Tebaldi singing the title role. It makes me feel even more at home than usual.

I turn on the tiny TV — “How big is your TV?” AJ asked me the other day. I demonstrated with my hands. He looked incredulous. “That’s smaller than my computer screen!” “Much.” “How big is the TV in his other apartment?” he asked of my apartment benefactor. “I don’t know. I’ve never been to his apartment.” It was funny because it’s not an issue that it ever would have occurred to me to investigate –and catch the last 11 minutes of the game, which was pretty exciting for football. And here’s the funny thing. AJ sent out an email to his friends list, which includes me, his dad and three of his buddies. “Send me your picks for the game. I say Patriots 35-34.” Now I generally don’t care for football, but I love that AJ sends me these things, so I wrote back. “Well, since I’m going to be in New York (I sent this message while I was sitting in the cab on my way to the airport), I think I’ll say the Giants 20-17.” I thought a bit about the numbers because I wanted to make sure they were possible scores in football. Sometimes I have trouble adding my 6s and 3s and extra points. As it turned out, I called the winner and got the score pretty damn close — the final was 21-17. Now my kid things I’m some kind of idiot savant. He might not be far off at that.

And now, I’d better try to get myself on Eastern Standard time. Tomorrow promises to be a long day of writing and dealing with recalcitrant toymakers and trying not to get distracted by the view outside my window.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2012 8:58 am

    I love it that your guess made your kid think you a savant. Those are mom moments to relish!

  2. freshhell permalink
    February 6, 2012 12:21 pm

    Usually Red just tells me that I don’t know ANYTHING! Which would be about right.

  3. February 6, 2012 1:38 pm

    An idiot savant is a good thing to be – in the right circumstance. I, for example, am an idiot savant when it comes to fly fishing. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I catch fish. Drives the people around me batty.

  4. February 6, 2012 2:24 pm

    I’m getting my next pick for the football pool, from you. You know: next season.

  5. February 6, 2012 3:17 pm

    I love your captain.

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