Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Travel Time

I went to Birmingham this week for three days. I am fortunate that I had almost forgotten how un-fun travelling can be, especially travelling for business. I know that I should be grateful; it is a modern miracle that I can get 500 miles in couple hours for a little over a hundred bucks (thank you, Southwest). It's also a peculiarly modern hell that, for all the speed and ease of travel, getting from here to there is a series of stressful deadlines. Any one section of the journey is ok, but stringing it all together demands eternal vigilence. I counted out a dozen connections on this trip:
  • House to car (Did I forget anything?)
  • Car to airport lot (Am I going to get there on time? Did I forget anything?)
  • Airport lot to terminal (Where did I park? When is the bus going to get here? Omigod omigod my wallet where . . . phew.)
  • Terminal to gate (wait in line, walk, wait in another line, walk some more)
  • Gate to airplane (wait in line, make five phone calls while departure time slips, move to another gate)
  • Airplane to another city (exhausted sleep, cramped neck, ten minutes of productive work before someone tells you something about the "off position" -- who came up with that term?)
  • Airplane to another gate (more waiting, phone calls, blaring CNN broadcast of non-news, happy families hugging, and no one to hug you)
  • Another plane to another city (some enormous guy is taking up half my seat, can I get away with finding another seat on the almost-full flight?)
  • Plane to rental car (no, Jesus Christ for the last time I don't need insurance)
  • Car to final destination (where are the headlights on this thing? Where am I going?)
  • Parking at final destination to real final destination (where can I park? How do I get to that building? Yes, they are expecting me. Yes, I'll wait.)

You've put in the better part of a work day just trying to get there. And, for all the stress, nobody particularly seems to appreciate what it took to get there. No wonder all those guys in suits are hitting their CrackBerries so hard. Thank God I'm only in purgatory once a quarter and not every day.

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