Sunday, August 1, 2010
I Have This Friend.....
You know, Hollywood is nothing.
Hollywood tells us how our dreams have to look, they give us PICTURES.
But Twitter, it gives us ideas, and then we can make the movies ourselves, in our heads. For instance, I have this one friend, Lanny, and she is the nicest and friendliest person, but I have no idea how she looks like or what she is really up to.
Only from her tweets, I have made this up about her:
Image you are leaving Paris to go to New York. It's early in the morning and you have just arrived and left your taxi, still annoyed at the driver ( he could be an evil-mooded Frenchman who hates the traffic at this time of day, or an immigrant who does not know his way around that well yet and got lost a couple of times, while you rant at him because you are afraid you'll miss your plane), and you step inside Charles de Gaulle to find it fairly crowded. It's filled with that typical airport smell of air conditioner, a whiff of kerosene, lots of coffee, some fresh bread and luggage, the sounds of people chatting in a million languages, the ubiquitous announcer that no one ever can understand, and a couple of irritated screaming kids. Beside you on the escalator is a family from somewhere in the Middle East, the man up front and the veiled woman a few steps behind with a gaggle of children around her, up ahead some American tourists discussing the sights they have just seen on their trip through Europe, and a group of very efficient business travelers, and more tourists.
Despite your disinterested cabby, you are in good time, and the line for check-in is not too long. There is time for a cup of coffee and a croissant.
At an airport of this size, there are of course a number of places to get that, so you pick one that is relatively quiet and where the girl behind the counter does not look too sleepy. In Paris of course, you get wonderful croissants, and if you are clever, you don't order French coffee but something more international, let's say a Latte (honestly, the Italians are a lot better at making coffee).
And while you wait for that waitress to get your breakfast, you see this girl:
She looks as fresh as the dawn despite the early hour, and hey, NO sensible traveling clothes for her.
Oh no, Lanny is much too stylish for that. And of course she has a little more luggage than that, but that is being transported (Louis Vuitton, you know) by an obliging service man.
Lanny glides past like a fairy, utterly sure of where she wants to go, she has been here millions of times. Her face shows a trace of boredom, and she radiates a sense of being gone already, as if her mind is ahead of her at her destination. She is the epitome of a traveler, not really here anymore, but not completely gone yet either.
With a brief glance at her watch she sits down in one of the rest chairs in the lounge.
And as you sip your coffee you watch her get out her notebook to send off some tweets.
Transient. That is the word that comes to mind, seeing Lanny.
She belongs to no one, and yet she is never really alone. There is always someone waiting for her.
It is quite obvious she must be either in the fashion business or at least working for a fashion magazine, there is so much natural elegance and style about her. Who else could type on those small keys so fast with those fingernails and the softly chiming gold bracelets? And the way she manages to cross her legs, that is well rehearsed. Oh, and no one else could carry off that hat at this time of day with so much grace.
A waiter serves her a cup of tea, which she accepts with a slight nod and another quick look at her watch.
Your flight is called, and she rises ahead of you to walk to the gate.
Boarding the plane, you catch a brief glimpse of her as she is being escorted to Fist Class before you fumble past your fellow travelers into your miserable middle seat and try to get comfortable for the long trans-Atlantic flight, and no wonder she will look rested and glamorous when you reach New York.
A few days later, strolling down 5th Avenue, a Maple Walnuts ice cream cone in your paw, dressed in comfortable tourist clothes, you might run into her again.
She is where she belongs, no?
But get it right, my friend: the plane ticket to Rio is in her purse already.
The happy author on the porch. Books: The Distant Shore, January 2012, IPPY Bronze Medalist in 2012 "Under The Same Sun", October 2012, IPPY Silver Medal 2013. "Song Of The Storm, July 2013. Waiting for a Song, published June 2014, The Rosewood Guitar, published February 2015. All published by Buddhapuss Ink LLC, NJ