Normal is living and dying.
Normal is not placing yourself in a bait bucket
awaiting turn to be devoured
by a winged whale - "now taking seats B-1 thru B-30."
Great I'm B-1
(and I'm supposed to be happy with that) seems a repeat
of high school..always missing an A by one point...here nor there now;
I going in -
(one of those first come first serve seating airlines) wiggling my way
down the esophagus of this monster; envisioning Jonah
being swallowed by that whale; stuck for three crummy days.
Finally I find myself settling in a F seat,
always seeking fame and a window - window yes, I like to look out on the landscape in case
this baby surfaces on uncharted territory - scoping out the area that
my eternal soul will haunt, once lost.
I settled in along the walls of
this whales belly, iPod - Check, Phone off - Check, Water - Check.
Grandma White takes E next to me, figures out how
to buckle up, pulls out
picnic basket of homemade dills, lady fingers
and sliced apples. (why didn't I think of that)
Up this mother whale ascends - I feel elated
plug in earphones; tune in my iPod to a downloaded
podcast of Garrison Keillor's Writer's Almanac
await room service, in time they arrive.
E asks for orange juice - looks at me and starts in
"I get bladder infections and can not drink coke anymore"
"Really", she says then continues, "What do you do?"
"I am a writer."
"Writer now interesting, novels? I like novels."
"Poetry, lovely. Are you famous?"
I look straight into her dill pickle face and ask,
"You don't recognize me?"
"Well, now that you mention it" she said.
With that she went back to her ladyfingers and I to Keillor, until
this whale finally beached herself at MSP and began belching....finally
my area is purged. I head past the gates, thinking
I should stop and take an Alka-Seltzer ( later,
I thought just get to a taxi).
"Embassy Suites, St Paul"
Once over the river and into St Paul I suddenly start feeling the
aire of the 30's, Italian mafia, U of M, St Paul's Cathedral
and The Fitzgerald..the real reason
I am here....at the Embassy
I check in, "Are you here on business or seeing family?"
"A bit of both" I said. "I looking to meet up with an area writer to collaborate on a book."
"Oh, that's nice. Your in room 824 take the elevator just to the right"
I headed up to my room thinking, he did not seem to impressed.
Oh well, I had my plan, check out the Fitzgerald to see if Keillor
was hanging around or at least find a frequented coffee shop
maybe drink out of the same cup he did.
Finally I get loose of bags and books and head out to the street move towards the famous landmark between Wabasha and Cedar sucked in the air and the moment. Did not want to appear like a Keillor groupie so I pretended that I still lived in the area though I had been gone for a few decades and even when I lived here farm girls like me did not go to the city often.
I took my time strolled through the shops, picked up some postcards at the Trattoria De Vinci, one of Mona Lisa and one of The Last Supper, but figured Keillor would probably not be eating there so I kept my eye out for a coffee shop and for red shoes hugging the sidewalk. Then with my iPhone camera ready I settled into a cafe not far from the Fitzgerald and feasted on some potato cheese soup and a Reuben sandwich. I finally muster up enough nerve to ask the waitress if she had ever seen Garrison Keillor come in here.
"I don't know him, but let me ask the cook."
I said, "No, no don't worry about it."
"Are you sure? It's no problem."
"No it's OK, really." I figured the cook probably did not know him either.
It was starting to get dark and I thought well so much for my publishing deal and what was worse I could not even think something up to pen highlighting my gamble that did not payoff. So I headed back to my hotel room thinking about the events of the day, about Jonah and his stay in the belly of the whale. For three days Jonah was in there and now he is famous being in print for thousands of years. I called down to the front desk and request two more nights stay, what the hell I thought - it worked for Jonah.
Pulled out Mona Lisa and addressed her to my sister in Idaho.
Posted for Magpie Tales
Note: this was one I started after my last plane trip in January ...and thought I would finish....bkm