Ξ September 6th, 2007 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Words |

    Jacqueline Bisset. On a plane. When it was landing and you were supposed to be belted in. Imagine.

    --Are you telling me you had sex with a woman on the airplane?

    Oh God, no. I'm telling a story. It's a twenty-five year old guy we're talking about.

    --A story of what happened, or something made up?


    --That's stupid.

    Flow with me for a minute. Pretend. Everything is moving too fast and it's all redshifted, spalling away from me in Doppler distortion at the speed of light so it doesn't seem as real anymore. Why not let it happen like you're reading a book? Because it is. Because you are. It's that way to me.

    --It must have been uncomfortable being in that airplane lavatory. They're barely big enough for one.

    We didn't have sex.

    --Ah ha.

    Hang on -- I have a hard time reading someone else's words without thinking of a bunch of my own. I don't know what I'm making up and what's in the akashic record. While I'm sitting in a small commercial jet somewhere over Saint Louis Obispo watching the San Andreas fault slide under me, I get through a few pages and then silence the voice in my head by looking out the window. There are roads and buildings. Occasionally a glint of bright sunlight ricochets to me from a car on route five. I'm wallowing in cognitive dissonance. Only yesterday I was watching glaciers pass, yellow earplugs keeping out the propeller drone.

    There was a mighty uninhabited wasteland extending beneath me in all directions. Antarctica. No love. No warmth. No man's land. I was on a flight from polar nowhere to a nowhere town where there are four women who each at some point in my five years of anti-polar deployment tried to become my ice wife.

    By the way -- if I was on fire they'd let me burn. Turn down a woman's advances, get lost forever. There are a lot of horses in the sea and they're all dead and drowned. Ever see a stallion swim? They can, but it's not pretty and neither are we after a while.

    I tried sitting with one of my former suitors at the galley and she squirmed and found a reason to get up for coffee and never came back as hard as she could.

    I've known her well enough to have had our eyes within an inch of each other and she doesn't want to spend more than fifteen seconds saying "hi," and twist the knife. They deal in a purified form of loneliness down there. Best to have work. Best to be busy, to have friends. Or an ice spouse.

    "Ice wife" works this way: you're supposed to believe you might die in Antarctica and so with your remaining breath it's better to love who's within reach, body and soul, than hold out for the theory of survival and commitment to promises you've made back home.

    Yeah. Ok. Traveling salesmen have been cheating on their wives forever. Turn the smarmometer off before the needle bends off the scale.

    One tried to get me drunk. At a big station party she kept shoving cans of Canterbury Draught into my hand which I obligingly quaffed. They were only a kiwi buck a can, she had a lot of drinking money in her pocket and when the money was gone, she let me see she had the condiments necessary to complete the evening. I got scared. She started hooking her pinkie around mine.


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