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Londinium or bust

What does the “or bust” construction mean, exactly? “If I do not reach my intended destination, I will physically explode in some way”? I don’t know. I’ve never known. Forget I said it.

I had hoped work would be a leisurely stretch before my holiday, but some stupid piece of shit job blew up in my face this morning and I chased it the rest of the day. Oh, well. A quick note before I retire, then.

Most Boston-to-London flights are overnighters, arriving right in the teeth of the London morning commute. That sort of flight is easier to catch on the Boston end, but hell on the London end. I don’t sleep well on planes; I showed up punchy and fizzy and spent the whole first day hoping that more than usually tactless things don’t come out of my mouth. Tactlessness is, as you might imagine, a problem for me.

Finally, we found a flight that leaves in the morning and arrives at Heathrow around nine at night. Perfect — just enough time to drive home, settle in, drink a bottle of fizz, eat a meal (toad in the hole. My favorite!) and fall into a deep, weaselicious dream.

But the Boston end? Not so nice.

Still, I prefer to front-load my pain. Who was it said that drunkenness would be moral if you could endure the hangover first? It wasn’t me, but I fundamentally agree: payment first. Then pleasure.

My flight leaves at nine. Not bad. But I have to get a bus to the airport, per their schedule. And I have to get a cab to the bus. And the cab company won’t let me pre-book because it’s a short trip, but they won’t guarantee me a cab because I don’t pre-book. (Yes, I have friends. I wouldn’t dream of waking them in the wee hours to drive me, which is partly why they’re still my friends. Despite that whole tactlessness thing).

So here’s how it goes down: alarm goes off at three in the morning. I get dressed, pack my toothbrush and call a cab for 4:30. The cats begin acting especially cute but very sad, the knowing little bastards, so me and my luggage move out onto the lawn to wait. The cab is late. It is always late. They didn’t take my number, so there’s no way I can know if the cabby is lost and I’m screwed. This is — this ALWAYS is — the low point of the day. I treat myself to a dram of stomach acid. And possibly half a milligram of Xanax.

The cab arrives and drives the short hop to the bus station. (A cab ride all the way in to Logan would add several hundred bucks to the round trip. I could do it, but it would hurt). The bus station is dark. There’s usually a moon. And a pair of young lovers, or a very old lady, or scruffy college students, or all of these things waiting for the Logan bus. It feels poetical. I miss my stupid cats.

The bus ride into Boston is dark but sparkly. I feel like That Girl. I take a lot of artsy, blurry photos out the window. The line at the ticket counter…well, this isn’t Christmas, so maybe not so bad this time. I’m starting to enjoy myself, but I miss my stupid cats.

I saunter around the Gate 33 area. Have a nasty cup of Starbucks airport blend. Borrow a cup of electricity from Massport to charge up all my shit, if I can find an empty outlet. Start to get excited. Miss stupid cats.

The flight East is magic: you fly into the planet’s rotation. The flight is six hours, but the clock says twelve. So the whole day is compressed into cartoon time. They feed us a lot; keeps us quiet. So we go from the rosy fingers of dawn to the scarlet imprint of twilight in less time than it takes to work the morning shift.

Get me! I’m a jet setter!

Miss my stupid cats already.

This is going to be great!

May 14, 2007 — 6:45 pm
Comments: 7