Thoughts From Above

on my way to PA.

I’m not a big fan of flying. And this morning when I saw it was raining, I was even less of a fan. I don’t think I’ve flown during rain before, and it made me nervous.

There’s also something about airports that makes me incredibly sad. All of those people saying goodbye to each other. All of the other people running to try and catch a flight, or crying because they missed the last plane out, or the ones who are asleep on benches because their waiting for their delayed flight. I find it all terribly sad, like lost people stuck in time. You can’t leave the airport and just enjoy the city you’re in. You’re stuck in this waiting place.

So when I said my tearful goodbye to Eric this morning, I realized that I’m mostly going to see him in airports the next week, and I got even sadder. I miss him so much and I only said goodbye to him an hour ago. I’m going to his hometown, to stay with his mom, and it feels very wrong that he’s not going with me. I’m used to him pointing out places and streets, telling me stories about things he used to do there as a kid. I’m used to being the passenger, letting Eric take me from place to place without one thought about how to get from A to B. I’ve got six pages full of directions from three different map companies to try and find Eric’s mom’s place and how to get to the convention from Eric’s mom’s place. I’m quite worried that I won’t know how to find the airport from his mom’s on Monday and I’ll miss my return flight. My flight can’t get cancelled or I miss my morning flight to LA the next day.

So, I’m sad about being in an airport and I’m sad about being away from Eric for so long. I’m nervous about the flight. I’m angry about my seats. I’m in a window in the aisle where the seats don’t recline. The next leg has me sitting in the middle. I’m all grumpy and trying to hide my tears from the stranger sitting next to me when the plane finally takes off and I get to put on Kid A and lean back.

And then we went higher than the storm. We broke through the clouds and the sun was hitting this point right off the wing of the plane and that combined with Thom Yorke created quite a stunning moment. So beautiful. All white and angry while peaceful and warm. It was like I realized for the first time that I was actually in the air, actually over the clouds in the air, and I became a bit amazed at the entire technology of flight. We just take it for granted and grumble and complain about flights and seats and luggage– but actually looking out the window and seeing what they can do with your body– you can go over the clouds at incredible speeds so you can travel across the country or the world and be with people you might not ever see otherwise. You can wake up in one country and go to sleep in another. And all you have to do is wear a seat belt. You can listen to a CD while typing on your computer while eating a cookie while sipping a Sprite while crossing Alabama.

Sometimes I just need to be reminded that I’m a very lucky girl. This morning’s rise and shine brought to me by TWA and Radiohead did the trick.

Y’all, buy Kid A. It’s wonderful.

Did I tell you I won a Welcome Back Kotter lighter? I did. My mother is crazy with the eBay, and when she was over the other day she was showing me her auctions and the things she had bids on. I make myself stay away from eBay (“Why don’t you just go eat some hay! I just may! I made it out of clay!”) because I know that I’ll buy things I don’t need. The last time I went I spent way too much money just to own a copy of Free to Be You and Me. Granted, that video is out of print, and I had gone on eBay specifically to buy that video, but I knew that with just a random search I might be out of control.

So, I’m actually pretty proud of myself. I got the Welcome Back Kotter lighter for ten dollars total, and I let myself get outbid on the Crispin Glover tapes.

Oh, but I want the Cripsin Glover tapes so damn bad. Some kid recorded every film Crispin’s done (The Back To the Future stuff not included), including Rubin and Ed, which is ninty dollars at amazon.com because it’s a rare tape. He also had Crispin’s “Family Ties” appearance, other television and talk show appearances, including the famous Letterman stint. I outbid the first guy, who only bid two dollars. Two dollars! I bid twenty. By the end of the day I had been outbid. The auction was going on for four more days, so I knew the tapes were going to go for lots of money. It’d be worth it for me just to have a decent copy of Rubin and Ed, but throw in the Letterman appearance? Man.

But I’m being good, and I haven’t even gone back to look once since my mother left. I’m just waiting for my lighter to arrive.

This feels like I’m writing a postcard while I’m on vacation. It’s calming me down. I’m not even sad anymore. I’m still pretty proud of myself for getting everything done last night I had to do. I had a work gathering yesterday afternoon to say goodbye, and then I went and picked up my new check card. “Overnight” means “Over two nights” because they have to make the card first. Yeah, they failed to mention that on the first night.

Anyway, I got home, did a couple of loads of laundry, watched Gilmore Girls and even finished recap. Look at me go. And I did it all by the time Eric got home from his show.

Oh, if you want to see Eric’s show, it’s called Body and Soul and it’s showing at the Hyde Park Theatre every weekend until the end of October. The show’s only about an hour long and quite good.

The clouds outside the window look exactly like one of the slopes in Aspen. Strange I might see snow this weekend, since I haven’t seen it since I was in Aspen in February.

Where was I? Oh yeah, laundry. Eric’s show. They tie in together, by the way. Here’s how.

In this play at one point eric has to wear this bodysuit thing. Now, lycra doesn’t go well over boxers, and Eric despises a dance belt, so he warned me that he was going to have to buy some briefs. I suggested perhaps a boxer-brief combo, but he wasn’t sure if they’d hide well under the spandex. So, briefs it was. A pair of tighty-whities.

I knew I wasn’t going to like them, but I wasn’t prepared for my own reaction. He came home from rehearsal one night and leaned over to grab the remote. I saw part of the waistband from the top of his shorts and my stomach dropped. I was grossed out. I couldn’t believe it.

I realized that the only other person I’d ever seen in a pair of tighty-whities in my entire life was my dad. Suddenly it was like my boyfriend was wearing my father’s underwear. And that’s fucked up, man. That’s not what you want.

Plus Eric has to have this half-beard/stubble thing for the show, so his face is all scritchy, which I can’t stand. It’s like I’m suddenly dating this boy who just let himself go and started wearing old underwear that he found in a drawer with a broken waistband. Now, part of that is because the character he’s playing is like that. But I wish I didn’t have to date the character. I miss some of the old characters I’ve dated while I have been dating Eric.

Sir Toby Belch loved to woo me, and was fond of surprising my bottom with a smack as I went to get a beer. He was loud and bawdy and people liked him immediately. The downside? He was completely bald and wore a goatee.

Ned was a sweet old boy who was very dry witted and amused at things. He wasn’t too loud and actually was quieter than he needed to be. The downside: Sweet Neddie was a bit of a drunk, I’m afraid, and sometimes fell asleep in chairs.

Bottom was usually in good spirits and liked to have parties and go out and see friends. He didn’t care what anyone thought about him and just enjoyed having a good time. The downside: he was a bit of an ass.

When I dated Eric’s character in Boy’s Life (I’ve forgotten the name), he was good to his guy friends and enjoyed bonding late at night over deep discussions about life and music. The downside was he didn’t really like women.

I must add here that the bigger the asshole Eric plays the nicer he is to me in real life. That I like. Either he feels guilty for having to say those things, or he feels guilty when he says them and the scene works because it looks believable when he says it.

When I dated the Time Warner Cable Roadrunner guy I was afraid of missing one cable payment. However, I never forgot to pay.

And now I’m coming home and finding a pair of tighty-whities on the floor of my living room and I have to tell you that I hate dating Henry. I hate his scruffy-faced, silver-painted, brief-wearing ass. He’s ruining cuddle time with Eric. Eric said he didn’t mean to leave the underwear on the floor and they must have fallen out of his bag. He hates them too, but if he really hated them as much as I did, he’d take them off the second he walks into the house. He doesn’t, though, and he’ll sit there watching television, drinking a Diet Coke, acting like nothing is wrong, while the entire time just under his shorts I know he’s wearing a nasty pair of Daddy Shorts. It’s sickening.

I have one line of defense, though. About a month ago I bought a pair of shorts. I thought I was buying cute little flannel shorts to wear around the house for working out or whatever. It turns out that they’re flannel bicycle shorts. And they’re purple. I don’t know. I don’t know what the hell happened to me. Sometimes Target takes over my brain and forces me to buy things I’d never want in a million years. So I’ve got these purple bicycle flannel shorts that I don’t really like, but they are a bit comfortable and will probably do well during yoga, and I wear them under a t-shirt one day and I think that right before that moment was the last time I looked sexy to Eric no matter what. Now he’s got this image in his head forever of me in these purple shorts with this giant gray t-shirt over it, like I’m “fixing to” stand in front of him with a baby on my hip and yell, “You said we’d go flea marketin’ this weekend and I already done put the baby in his good diaper. Now get up and get the truck started ‘fore I throw that beer in the sink. And go brush your hair. Fucking short-long looks like you loaned it to rats last night.”

The second I saw myself in Eric’s eyes, I took off the clothes. See? That’s what I do. I take them off so he doesn’t think of me like that anymore. But does he take off the Papa Pants? Of course not. He just sits there, wearing them under his clothes where I can’t see them, but I know they’re there. The bleached white cotton touching his skin. Ugh.

So, the other night I finally broke down. “Are you going to take those things off or what? I can’t sit near you!”

“Baby. I’ll take them off in a second. I’m watching this. I just got home.”

“Fine.”

I went into the bedroom and pulled out the purple flannel bicycle shorts. I found a Maryland t-shirt of Eric’s. I pranced back into the living room and flopped on the chair.

“Okay, point taken,” he said.

“I can hold out just as long as you can.”

“The problem is your clothes are actually comfortable. I hate wearing these things.”

I refuse to wash them. I refuse to touch them. I just want his play to be over so he can shave his face, put on his boxer shorts with the little hockey players and go back to being my Eric.

Until then, I may have to just stay up here in the air, where I miss him so much I can’t stop crying.

Later: I’m in Pittsburgh. It’s strange to see pictures of Eric and talk to his friends but not have him here. It’s also very strange to drive through storms of falling leaves hitting your car like rain.

It’s very expensive to rent a car.

I’ve got about an hour before I leave for Journalcon registration. Here’s hoping I don’t make a fool out of myself.

I think I brought the wrong shoes.

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