01 September 2006

Boarding In 23 Minutes

I'm at the airport now, with not much on my mind, but some extra time and a high-speed internet connection on my hands, so I guess I ought to say something. It looks as though - from a weather standpoint, anyway - I'm getting out of here just in time: the sky is sullen and threatening, and apparently what's left of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ernesto is on its way here. Just as I was leaving the apartment, the super showed up and wanted to check the pumps underneath the bedroom floor (which I never even knew were there). Before he installed them, he said, heavy rain would usually result in the entire apartment being a foot or two under water.

Because I was running late, I thought I'd better take a car service instead of the subway to the airport. Big mistake. I'm so far out of the normal people's loop that I'd completely forgotten it was not only Friday afternoon, but the beginning of Labor Day weekend. The trip ended up taking half an hour longer than the train would have and costing seven times as much. On the plus side, I got to a) practice my Spanish; b) be introduced to some top-quality and top-volume (well, so he claimed, anyway) Ecuadorean music; c) learn some new and creative Spanish swear words. You ever wonder who that guy is that always starts honking his horn and screaming out the window if the traffic light doesn't change fast enough? Well, I can give you his number.

Still, I got here in plenty of time, didn't get strip searched, didn't get anything confiscated, and to top things off, got a free upgrade to business class for no apparent reason other than that they liked my looks (you know, now that I think about it, that probably wasn't it; maybe more like a computer error or else some important person in coach complained about having to sit next to me).

All levity aside, I'm not exactly enthusiastic about leaving New York and returning to London, but it has to be done. The way things are looking, I'll be starting the process of packing up things in the London flat and putting it up for sale, enabling me to return to New York on a permanent basis before too long. But of course that makes me sad, too: I don't want to live there, but I want to be able to live there, if that makes any sense. No, I didn't think it did either.

It's just that there's still so much to London that I haven't seen or done, but I could stay there the rest of my life and that would still be true. I just have a hard time leaving places and letting go of things, always have had. Which makes it doubly odd that I seem to have spent most of my life leaving places and letting go of things, if not just plain tossing them away. I was talking last night to an ex-con buddy of mine, who's actually spent more of his life in prison that out of it, and he used an expression I'd never heard before: "I've got a lot of rabbit in me." That meant, he explained, that whenever things got rough or complicated, he was out of there like a shot. No time wasted on explanations or goodbyes or promises to keep in touch, just gone. I could relate; a lot of my life's been like that, too. But right about now, I think I'm ready for a change.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I started "Leave it to Psmith" today, and feel like Wodehouse used "rabbit" in a way with which I wasn't familiar. Good stuff so far.