Thursday, May 03, 2018

Travel Heat

It has been a day. The company continues to shoot me around the world.

I date myself: like Tommy playing ping pong, I am blind and deaf and dumb and yet I do it anyway.

Six hours in an airport lounge connecting with a human I want to know is barely enough to mitigate the fracture. I'm pleased with myself for being...something. Worthy?

A friend?

A human?


I don't know.

Processing is a pretty penny and not all the pennies have dropped.

What I do have is being in Baltimore again. I hate Baltimore.

I don't want to hate Baltimore, but I do. Baltimore, a neglected city. I recall watching The Wire with the boy and needing the subtitles to follow along to the almost Shakespearean qualities of the language (that the series itself becomes entirely Shakespearean is almost secondary).

My taxi driver calls me stupid. I only took a cab from the airport because I didn't want to jump through ride share hurdles at 10 at night when the city is warmer than a sauna.

Forty minutes later I am in an alley.

"This can't be right?!" I say.

"This is the address you gave me."

The driver has an accent. English is not the problem here,  it's the address. Being a respectable man from the region that is most likely Indo-Paki he doesn' want to leave me on the street. Nearby five people sell drugs, three sex, one pimp waits in shadows.

"No Ma'am"

"I want out."

"I'm not leaving you."

"I'll be fine."

I'm being polite to myself here, but I am barely holding it together. I was supposed to fly at 6 a.m. A flight pushed back to 3 p.m. an arrival pushed back til 10 p.m. I am tired. I am cranky. I am exhausted. I am getting out of  a cab surrounded by sex workers (respect sex work, it's a thing). The driver is concerned, but I keep insisting on the bill. I want to be done. I trust these women on the street to help me. Perhaps I am naive.

Perhaps I am that experienced.

"Excuse me, are you looking for -"

I look across the street. While I was trying to find the hotel I had called and while, less helpeful then a Korean hotel, it was clear I was nearby. When I exited the cab the intention was to walk.

"I'll come get you."

And here he was. I get into the hotel and there is a line. I go into a corner to breathe and calm down. There are so many emotions under the surface I am not allowed to express. I want to cry, I want to collapse, I just want some food!

It's been a long day. My own fault.

I refuse to eat the proffered Lean Cuisine and go to the noisy bar up the street. I have to many bourbons.

I feel better.

I am entirely alone.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow will be better. I live for tomorrow to settle the pains of today's long hot night.

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