wake up and smell the trajectory. i stay in my room as long as possible. just out side my 5th floor window is a blazing sun on a highly reflective guggenheim museum without a right angle in sight. the day is stellar. i avoid it like the plague. eventually i succumb to check out and head across the street to meet matt for lunch at the museum.
it’s a killer meal. matt and i yammer. we fail to invite the comely woman at the table alone beside us to join us, and it feels horribly wrong after she leaves. dang. these bends suck. matt and i bid each other farewell with motions of doing it again somewhere soon and then i saunter off to the airport.
the flight is on iberia today. great. i have a bazillion miles on the ‘one world alliance’. but instead the plane they are using is ‘vuelling’. vuelling hates guitars. it was the one airline i ever walked off of because of flight attendant spoink on about my guitar on board.
nothing the iberian people can do. they look like they are being bullied by vuelling. weird. anyway, after much supervisor action it appears that maybe i won’t have to pay for the guitar to be checked, but i definitely can’t bring it on board unless i buy an extra seat. the cost comes to 222 euros. if the price wasn’t so funny, it’d be an insult.
the other problem is, if i do check the bag, there is only a 40 minute connecting time in barcelona on the way to amsterdam.
at the moment i am beating the bends down with a stick while i pleasantly discuss the impending disaster of never seeing my guitar again, either in one piece, or any incarnation. i suggest i never fly on vuelling again and remedy the moment by feeling the luxurious power of saying no to their hold on me. i ask for my checked roller bag to be returned and crinkle a smirk at the inconvenience. i am refusing to board with no idea how to get to amsterdam in time for a television show the following night which has slotted me in to play a song for only 1 minute. jelle says it’s a show that absolutely everyone in holland watches. the venue wants me to appear there badly in hopes to bring attention to their show with me in a few days hosted by a famous dutch actress.
i dunno. this actor is bent.
so that’s it.
just me and my bends hanging out in the bilbao airport for hours.
a fan working at brusselsair tries to help, but its still too expensive and only gets me to brussels. spanair are there and offer up a 1oo euro flight to barcelona at least and i can take the damn guitar on board. and vuelling is tempting me with a direct flight to amsetrdam the next morning for only 130 euros. the bastards.
i opt for the barcelona flight. by now i am moist. the AC in the airport is nonexistent, and apparently i’m working up a sweat. the flight is full and i am in a middle seat. i pack in and can’t see past my bends.
did i mention the volcano ?
Iceland has been spewing again. its fume shut down northern england and now threatens denmark and the netherlands. disruptive eruptive.
but the bends don’t care. they are already volcanic.
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i land in barcelona and find my way to a mysterious airline called transavia. its in another terminal. i leave the wondrous modern terminal and am heading to terminal 2 to find it and investigate.
the information woman kept repeating when i ask her “where ?”; ”terminal dos, terminal dos !!!” yes. terminal dose. you’re right.
i have a terminal dose of these bends.
i discover a 100 euro flight early the next morning there to amsterdam and they’ll probably let me take my guitar on board.
this terminal dos is hot. the setting sun is doing its best work before petering out for the night. its hot. i am soaking in my own bent sweat.
but the night will offer up some remedy. i opt to stay at some people’s house that speak very little english. i know it’ll probably mean lugging my bag up endless stairs. but i am so far gone, i won’t notice.
taxi feels like a luxury. the sun has lipped down and the evening air embraces me like a young nun in the battle field. the driver is indian.
the bends begin to slowly turn. i am happy in this cab. i can let go.
when he drops me off, he offers to fetch me in the morning too. ok.
i have been invited to stay at woman’s place who speaks almost no english. a friend of the gypsies. a physical therapist. she is there with her friend to welcome me in. it all seems like somebody else’s life.
i climb up the endless stairs and plunk down my load. a beer is handed to me. the night breeze wafts in to continue its effect. then a shower and i am almost me again. i have long run out of clean things, but find one button down short sleeve shirt i forgot i had.
we all then head out for a muy tranquiilo night. sitting outside at their local bar and eating cheap tapas and cold cañas. makes a lot of sense. the catalan cure. estrella. damn.
i text matt. he just landed and he needs some help escaping his dead hotel. and i can sense flamenco might happen here like a small lethal monsoon storm about to percolate. the sisters are here. the ones that exploded into dueling flamenco verse last year when our gypsy posse hit town. soon the bar must close. matt has arrived just in time. he looks sweet but kinda awkward too. like he’s in need of something.
or maybe it’s the bends knocking on his door. they can be contagious.
so we all move into this very small bar because we should be quiet now for the neighbors. but no. there is a bad guitar being played very well. flamenco chordings in strum accordance. then the sisters begin the clapping with a 3rd girl. the clapping is like a rattle snake tail, if you were suddenly shrunk down to the size of an microscopic insect.
the clapping incites the blood, and then the faces begin there contortion transformation and something ancient and alive emerges. the girls are singing in dueling verses, and sometime a strut bursts forth. flamenco is in the house. its crackling the particles of proximity. the bends don’t have a chance.
i find that flamenco is the “bends’” mortal enemy.
last time this happened, it went on all night long. thankfully tonight it won’t. i am exhausted. but feeling so much better. one by one everyone appears to drift off like a dream. i am delivered to my little corner for the night. its perfect for the likes of me. a futon on the floor in a room. the physical therapist takes the couch. before i rid myself of the day, she offers a quick correction of the back. its intense. she is not a masseuse. this is a sever cure. i think she is gonna break my back, but maybe she knows what she’s doing. a few good springs later, i crawl off to my corner, i lay there alone thinking about the taxi in a few hours. a smile comes over.
when i awake, i am free of the bends. they’ve been beat out of me.
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