Ireland, Day Zero

Well I’m back, and have been for a week. I might have written earlier, but I was too busy making mad passionate love to the ground.

Day Zero – so titled because it was the first day of my trip, during which I saw nothing of Ireland, but plenty of airport interiors and airplane seating.

Having not flown anywhere in five years, I hadn’t been through airport security since the fit hit the shan. I was, however, well cautioned not to bring any scissors, nail clippers, tweezers, or other such devices that might be employed to cripple the aircraft or conquer the world should my bag of pretzels not arrive in a timely fashion, thereby driving me into a kamikaze need for vengeance. The connecting flight to Philadelphia required me to pass through American customs, which was not nearly as grueling and difficult as I expected it to be. The strip search went off very well and the security officer promised to call. They give good cavity.

Hopping the pond, the in-flight movie was Big Fish, which I found disturbing. Not the movie, which I’d seen before and didn’t watch again because I’m too cheap to buy headphones, but rather because of what’s become of Tim Burton. It’s not a good sign for any auteur to make a film that ends up playing on airplanes, edited for time and content, modified to fit your screen. Kubrick never played the mile high club. Okay, maybe Eyes Wide Shut, but that was the extra-censored version with superfluous digital people strategically placed to blot out every single frame and make it consumable family entertainment for easily offended parents flying coach with their screaming infants in tow.

The flight, devoid of any mid-air collisions as it was, passed uneventfully. I killed time going over the two years’ worth of accumulated material from before I’d been called in to consult on this new project. Selecting coffee as my beverage of choice every time the cart came around assured that I would stay wide awake throughout the entire journey and into the next day. I had my CPAP machine in one of my two carry-ons, but with no way to set it up in my seat, I didn’t want to run the risk of napping. My snoring might have hit the right frequency to shake the plane to bits. Or it could have just pissed off the rest of the passengers enough to get them to drop me off and make me swim the rest of the way. In either case, I would have missed out on the rigorous regimen of meetings, drinking, and crawling through medieval crypts I had scheduled for the following few days.

Coming in for a landing I got my one glimpse of the Irish countryside, the rocky crags of the shoreline, the green of the spring fields. It might even have been an emerald green, I really can’t say. I didn’t have a window seat. The rest of the week would be all narrow streets and masonry. It was an exclusively urban adventure I had in store.

Next time: I get my photos back from the developer and curse myself for not buying a digital camera. Stay tuned.

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