Planeside Baggage Claim Ticket

20MAR09 – Frost patterns on my window at 15,000 feet resemble Kanji as rendered by an alien hand, a million miniature characters painstakingly etched on frozen glass.

Instructions for a DIY Mandelbrot set, some assembly required?  This trip was a pleasant one, an overnight gig to New Orleans.

I stayed in a B&B near the job, a sprawling two-structure in what once was probably a magnificent part of town.  Dropped off my gear, got straight to work.  Walked the quarter mile to the site, relishing the heat on my cold Northern bones.

That evening, I addressed postcards to friends and loved ones over a cold bottle of dark beer and a bowl of seafood gumbo before heading out to observe the city’s Dramatis Personae.  Popped into Madame Laveau’s for a new vial of patchouli and something ugly for my desk.  Spent the evening wandering the French Quarter drinking plural Guinness and absinthe mojitos, side-stepping those more inebriated than I, and memorizing each brick and gaudy storefront with equal curiosity.

The next day went off without a hitch. Cats: corralled.  Fears: assuaged.  Locally caught fish: devoured.  Met: people.

Homeward bound now.  My body has reached the end of patience, yet I find five minutes more in a hidden pocket, discover five beyond that, and so on.  What I really want to do is lose it.  I make a list in my head… Profanities: shouted. Seatbacks: punched. Headlines: made. (Temper, temper. A gentleman is always in control of his emotions.)

Instead, I think about the train ride home, dropping my bags, kicking off my Chucks, taking a satisfying crap, enjoying a scalding shower, unwinding with dry British comedy and partaking in a bowl of Stephen Hawking (part of a complete balanced breakfast! Crap. Hope I’ve got milk left…)

Sun sets softly in a sea of scarlet cloud off our starboard bow. We’ve seen into the furthest reaches of outer space with our powerful telescopes (finding only more stars for our questions), while a darkness of electronic listening machines orbit the Earth in a vigil of constant snoopery.

What I wanna know is: where is Heaven?  If it’s in the clouds, does it vanish on sunny days or follow the migration of weather patterns?  Maybe they’ve got Heaven mixed up with S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters.

Returning his seatback to an uptight position, it’s


2 thoughts on “Planeside Baggage Claim Ticket

  1. While taking down the rest of my glow-in-the-dark universe last night, I decided what I want to do in my new living room. I’ll find a glow-in-the-dark paint that isn’t a weird yellow in daylight, something that matches the rest of the ceiling, and paint my universe so that you can’t tell it’s there until the lights go off. But now you’ve got me thinking … the Mandelbrot set … hmmmm.

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