I’ll try to be as coherent as possible, but brain is fuzzy and sleep deprived.
Dawn dropped me off at the airport around 10:30 Wednesday morning and I negotiated two suitcases of DVDs (hooray for frequent flier plans) on board. The hop down to Atlanta was chock full of children, but Dawes and Hosier kept them at bay. I reflected as we waited on the tarmac for a free runway (CLT is still catching up on flights from the storm) that the inside of a plane has become as common to my eyes as my own office or living room. I don’t know if that’s a happy or sad thought.
Atlanta airport was very calm. At least the international terminal was. I sat in front of a massive window and marveled at how blue/gray the sky was. I had a lovely chat with a lady who was getting ready to embark on her own journey: seeking something, she said. I hope she finds it.
Another shout out to the frequent flier gods that bumped me up to business class at the last moment. I got to recline and read, watched a movie or two and chased sleep, but that just wasn’t happening. Delta’s movie selection offered me ‘This is Where I Leave You’; a slightly unconventional romcom with a massive swerve near the end that I didn’t see coming, and ‘Get On Up’; a James Brown bio. The latter was … odd. Flashbacks, flash forwards, flash sideways. I had to really concentrate to keep up.Not easy on a flight and … well, just a bit too silly for my taste. The actor playing JB mugged to the camera about a dozen times too many.
We touched down in Paris just as the sun was coming up, orange and pink and then suddenly blazing yellow as if it couldn’t wait to illuminate the city. As we taxied to a stop, Dawes reminded me: “If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there.”
I had just enough time to send off messages that I had landed and I had to hot foot it over to my gate, running just a bit behind. Shame, that: the airport in Paris (CDG) is simply gorgeous. Like a long half cylinder of glass, chrome and wood. Lots of exotic (for an airport) shops and restaurants. Fun fact: there’s no class system to boarding a plane in Paris. They basically just opened the doors and checked boarding passes as everyone went in. No ‘first class first’ or zone numbers. Fastest I’ve ever boarded and got settled.
The flight to Manchester was quick and uneventful. When I got to customs I found that my name had been flagged because of a ‘previous incident’ (I’ll tell you later) so I underwent a short interview. About 15 minutes was all it took for them to be satisfied, though some of the questions were odd. “How many pets do you have at home?” “What ELSE do you do besides Magicianing?” “No, not hobbies, what is your real job? No … the one that pays your bills. No … the one you clock into and get a paycheck from!” Eventually, I got my stamp and off I went.
My driver was Paul. Paul doesn’t care for magic or magicians really. But when he knows he’s going to pick one up (Apparently he does it a lot) he looks them up on ‘the youTube’. He likes my work. I’m … grateful? He goes on to talk about other magic passengers he’s had. In particular he mentions the current IBM Prez, who he really liked and who apparently spent some time photographing Paul’s many tattoos.
Paul deposited me at Fern Villa and I did my best to settle in. Lots of work to do .. but I really needed to shut my eyes for a bit.
Just like I do right now. I’ll finish this story after I catch an hour or six of sleep … Thanks for walking with me.