Being the good Samaritan that I am… I traded my window seat to the mom who wanted to sit next to her cute little girl. In exchange, as usual, I got to sit next to the alcoholic and the neurotic. He came on to the plane smelling like beer, and he didn’t let a flight attendant walk by without asking for another. She was constantly taking off and putting on layers, and picking at the pathetic egg-sandwich thing that is supposed to pass for Portuguese-cuisine. I kept thinking of Jamie and his friend Brian, taking the Thalys to Paris, hoping to sit next to models or moviestars.
The only consolation was that I messed with their damaged minds… I arrived first, and began reading my French weekly newspaper. Soon after I switched to reading Bukowski (in English), and spoke to the passenger behind me in Dutch. The lush seemed really eager to classify me… possibly Dutch… or maybe Belgian because of the French language item. I really threw him for a drunken loop when I spoke to the flight crew in Portuguese, and then asked for the best Portuguese newspaper of all time. Oh he wanted to start a conversation… so he could put me a little box, like the neurotic lady to my left. But I wouldn’t say more than two words in any language to that sloppy bastard. And fuck… can they put economy class seats ANY closer together?
One final air travel note, my horn traveled first class to Lisbon. We’re all packed in like sardines, while there is practically NO ONE in first class, but that never matters does it? When I did my usual: ask female flight attendants in a na?ve manner where they can stow my horn… then bat eyelashes and be very polite; they seemed quite puzzled. So… they buckled my baby into first class. I was proud! We lemmings may not be allowed to sit up there, but my horn didn’t pay a dime, and got drunk on champaign and caviar. DAM THE MAN.
So here I sit on top of the world, in my apartment that has always been affectionately called “the Nest”.. because it’s made of twigs, is almost destroyed by heavy winds, and sits above the Tagus river.. where I can watch the sun set. Lisbon is just as I left it… full of classic urban ironies. My neighbors barely recognize me, probably because they’re all pushing 90. The only person my age, cutey working-student girl downstairs, seemed shocked to see me… almost as if I had ruined her secret plan to marry me by moving to the ‘dam. That would have been nice, we’d then have a two floor apartment and a building full of geriatrics, on the verge of collapse.
One last thing, speaking of collapse, there’s no government here in Portugal. That’s right… the government resigned, claiming that it couldn’t go on after all the political infighting and governing mistakes they had made. I find this to be a beautiful thing, and an admirable tradition in many countries. Now, if only a certain spoiled rich-boy president, who bumbled his nation’s finances, education system, civil rights, foreign policy… you name it… why can’t American presidents ever throw in the towel anymore? Suddenly I miss Nixon!?
Today’s Sounds: The Roots – Tipping Point