On My Way Home

you love me when I write from planes

So I had the absolute perfect picture of my cousin Cool Chris with his arm around Creepy Peter Playpal and I had the Worst Digital Camera Fuck-Up that was completely my fault and lost so many pictures from the trip, including that one. I had taken a picture of my gramma’s frame, pictures of the house, things I had found, people I had met, all sorts of stuff. But I was so upset about losing the Chris And Peter Are Playpals picture that I just had to have a small tantrum on the phone on the second floor, begging Chris to drive all the way back to my Gramma’s house and take the picture again.

“No way!”

I can’t blame him. It took all of our strength to take the damn thing in the first place. We were standing in the kitchen and he was just about to leave when I said I wanted a picture. I asked what he wanted to stand next to (as we had been joking about the very old mounted deer head in the living room) and there was a small moment when we both quietly thought of the same thing.

We went up to the third floor into my mother’s old room, where the big red trunk that held the two trapped plastic children sat. We had been up there earlier, when my mother opened the trunk to show Chris, while I wiggled and squealed in the hallway about the creepy factor. Thankfully, Chris agreed with me and told my mother that these dolls were pretty creepy. Then as we were talking he heard one of the dolls move from inside the trunk, so we took off.

This time we wanted the picture, though, so we opened the trunk and brave Chris pulled Peter out of the bag he was in. He touched Peter’s head and started to turn it towards him and that damn doll’s head just spun effortlessly right towards him, giving Chris this Chucky glare with his cracked-face and evil smirk.

We both jumped back and squealed like little girls.

Chris kneeled down and put his arm around Peter Playpal as I squirmed and squealed and snapped the picture. It was great.

And then I was a big stupidhead and totally deleted the thing. It really was a good picture. But, that only goes to show you the power of those fucking creepy dolls. They can’t let themselves live outside of their doll bodies. I asked mom where the Patty Playpal was. She said “She’s under Peter.”

I swear to God that’s the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard. That and the fact that we moved Peter Playpal around and didn’t see another naked plastic child lying underneath him. Then Mom reminds me (for the fifteenth time) that there are actually three dolls and one of them (the one that they found under the covers lying in a bed (CREEPY!)) is missing.

Last night Mom found the missing third doll, sitting in a bag behind some picture frames. I asked her to step away nicely from the doll, but she just wouldn’t and opened the damn bag. She said there were other dolls in there with it.

“Mom, please,” I begged her.

“Look, honey! It’s Baby Alive!”

“Of course it is, Mom. That’s what I’m trying to tell you about these creepy things. Baby Alive? Why do you think I’d want to see naked scary creepy Baby Alive?”

“Because you’re the one who wanted this doll so badly when you were little. Baby Alive eats.”

“Eats human flesh.”

“Oh, now stop being such a baby.”

“Get that thing off my lap.”

My mom is the bravest woman in the world. She’ll pick up an old doll that’s got the matted hair and the eyes that kind of look in two different directions because it’s so old, and she’ll tilt that head back while its eyes are all rolling around and she’ll squint and say, “I think this one has teeth.”

There is nothing scarier on this earth than a creepy old doll with a cracked head and two rolly-odd eyes with tiny tiny teeth.

Mom will move the hair aside on an old creepy dirty scary doll and fully expect to see the word “Mattel” instead of “666.”

I’m thousands of miles in the air now, but I still remember the smell and the feeling of seeing that doll’s head just spin in Chris’ hand. Ugh! Ih! I’m all wiggling in my airplane seat, and the woman next to me stopped reading her copy of Cold Mountain to give me the side-glance stink-eye.

I don’t give a shit. She deserves to think she’s sitting next to a strange one. Let’s just say that this lady didn’t start with giving me the stink-eye. She was giving me the full-on stink-ass for like fifteen minutes straight. I had to blast up my overhead air conditioner and give her the stink-eye. We’re using the seat between us like a battlefield. We started by putting our books next to each other. Then we moved on to the lunch bags. Then some trash. Because of my laptop, and the fact that I’m sitting behind Ponytail McLeansbackandwiggles-Allthetime, I moved my drink to the table for the middle chair. At one point I put my knee into the Middle Seat (which, admittedly, neither of us have paid for). I went ahead and lifted the armrest on my right-hand side. This apparently gave me too much hand, and I was hogging the middle empty seat and quite possibly moving into “her side,” she she let off a series of stink bombs to keep me leaning as far away from her as possible. I think that’s a very hostile way of dealing with the situation. She could have just asked for more space. Now the seven people sitting around us don’t know if I’m the stink-ass or if she is. And she’s pretending to be napping, and I’m the one with my nose scrunched up looking like I just got served a big Extra Value Meal of injustice, so I totally look like the guilty one.

That evil stinky-ass bitch. She knows exactly what she’s doing. That’s it. I’m turning up my walkman. How does she like hearing the tinny strains of Rage Against the Machine? Huh? My eardrums may be bleeding, but it’s for a good cause. It’s to right the scales of Middle Seat colonization. She’s even moved a bookmark onto the Middle Seat table and put it right next to my drink.

Well, she doesn’t know that I’m suffering from some sort of scary black lung thing from being in that dirty house for five days. I’m coughing up black stuff and my nose keeps running and I sound like I’m two steps away from an Iron Lung. Okay, lady, this means war. I’m gonna make you think I’m giving you Bronchitis.

Oh, yeah, she’s not napping anymore. In fact, she even looked pointedly at me and then my balled-up Kleenex that I’ve just carelessly tossed onto a dangerously close area of Middle Seat that might actually be a part of her territory, but whose positioning can be totally blamed on the overhead air conditioner, which is blowing things around. (Stink-Ass prefers to not have her air conditioner on, so to retaliate, I’m blasting mine.)

I just leaned over and gave the kennel cough right next to her leg. I made it look like I needed another cassette tape. I’m that good. She saw that my cough went right next to her bookmark, so she moved it closer to her.

Stink-ass is very good, and is now trying to casually see what I’m typing. I got a bit paranoid and turned around. Everyone behind me is asleep, passed out from the noxious fumes, I’m assuming.

Okay, she keeps looking over at me because I’m tapping my foot. That’s nothing, honey.

I just did a really bad-ass rendition of “Mr. Brownstone” along with my walkman. Full-on head-banging and finger pointing, stomping my feet and smacking the top of the iBook.


I used to do a little
but a little wouldn’t do it
so the little got more and more


The flight attendant just asked if he could take away my soda. Oh, on the flight in I was being attended to by Jm. J, remember? Now it’s Kevin Spacey. I swear to God. When we were boarding, he took the ticket of the man in front of me and then stopped him with an eye-rolling sigh and said in this incredible Kevin Spacey voice, “Sir, we are currently seating rows twenty through twenty-three, and you are in row nine, so you must wait to the side for these people to get through.” That bored, smug voice while looking up into the air instead of actually at the offending passenger.

During the flight he asked me if I wanted anything to drink. I asked if he had bottled water. He even nailed down that Spacey way of saying “No,” that almost sounds apologetic, but really sounds more like, “You stupid bitch.”

So, I’m hoping that Semi-Spacey puts the smack-down on Stink-Ass, because it’s killing me. Oh, ha. Stink-ass just tried coughing. Whatever, lady, you ain’t got no form. Don’t be busting in on my science because you’re gonna get blinded.

I think you can tell what kind of music I’m listening to by my writing. Could you tell the moment that Guns ‘N Roses became the Pixies? Could you then see when it became A Tribe Called Quest?

This is going to be the longest travelling day of my life. It’s all only noon, and I’ve been in the air for just over an hour, and I’ve got another six hours to go. Three of those hours are sitting in the St. Louis airport.

Perhaps I’ll report some people watching from there. Shit, I’ve got my digital camera with me. Maybe I’ll take some random photographs.

Oh! “Groove is in the Heart” is on. Time for me to dance. Take that, Ponytail McLeansbackandwiggles-Allthetime! I’m making your chair dance for once! Uh! Uh! Unh! Unh! Sing it, baby!

I am the official freak of the Hartford to St. Louis flight and I’m totally digging it. I’m the only one not reading either an Oprah book or a New Yorker. But I bet I can teach these ol’ ladies a thing or two about Depression Glass. Yeah, stink-ass might think she’s hot shit for reading Cold Mountain and wearing about nine rings, but can she identify the price of a yellow Lorain sugar bowl with and without the cover? I think not.

Stink-ass has just gone too far. She’s sprayed some sort of Avon perfume into the air, and now it smells like cheap nasty roses and poo in here. Fuck. This is terrible. It’s like I’m stuck in Luby’s. Dammit.

How much longer is this flight? Shit. Almost an hour. I’m not going to make it, I tell you. Stink-ass might go down.

Semi-Spacey just gave me the look-up-and-down, It’s hard to hear over Dave Grohl screaming in my head about how much actors suck, but I think I just heard the pilot say we’re landing. How did I think I had another hour?

Oh, right. Have to turn this off now. See ya in round two.

post flight add-ons:

New Ally McBeal.

I slept almost the entire second flight after wasting half a day away in the St. Louis airport. Here’s a tip: walk around the airport listening to the Lo-Fidelity All Stars’ “Battleflag.” You’ll feel like the coolest motherfucker in the building.

I’m such a dork.

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