Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spain, Miami, Slide and Tan-gentleness...

Me: Feeling trapped and seasonally disaffected in Upstate New York. In spite of impending travel plans to New York City in two weeks and Miami the weekend after, I have an entire week off from school next week...and I...want...out.

Plans for a Spring Break drive down to Virginia next week have fallen through. Additionally, while potential yoga classes and a Shabbat service would welcome me in Boston, the rabbi says, "I would love to see you...but I should warn you that I am going through a highly introspective phase right now...and so...I may not be very physically affectionate." My own narcissism meter starts to emit steam as I look around and feel very much like an unwelcome pest found scrambling along the kitchen counter, plucked up by a piece of tissue and flung helplessly in the toilet bowl. Just flush me, please, I think to myself. (Better product placement would be the toilet.) I'll take my chances in the open sea.

My 'escape artist' inclinations kick in. I should be finishing a paper for the conference I am attending this weekend. Instead, I let my fingers do the walking over to the Google gadget on my taskbar...WAHLAH! ...Let's just take a gander at all discount travel sites that might take me away for a couple of days...

Spain (of course--I am really just secretly addicted to Jose Zapatero and Socialism) was the first destination that came to mind. Within seconds, I found a direct flight from Boston to Madrid for $600. But before submitting my credit card information in exchange for the satisfying rush that most women feel when they purchase a designer handbag, I held back from making the final click of committment. Instead, I listened to the little angel on my shoulder who kept saying, "Before you do this, before you frivolously spend money that you do not have, you must call Bro."

With the website still open and waiting to assist me in my desire to put as many miles as possible between the ground and my derriere, I picked up the phone and called Bro. Fortunately, my call found Bro in a very "zen" mood in Virginia. (He was on his way to the gym and still glowing from an "amazing" acupuncture appointment yesterday.) Perfect timing, indeed.

Me to Bro: "Yo, dude. I need you to talk me down. I found a direct flight next week from Boston to Madrid for $600. I'm crawling the walls and I just want to watch the pigeons in front of the Prado, be a wallflower and live on bocadillos, caffeine and Spanish buses for a few days."

Bro: (Instinctively knowing what to say.) "A direct flight? That's not a bad price.."

Me: "I know...But...really stupid, right? Tell me it's stupid."

Bro: "Yes. Kind of dumb. Yeah, ok, really stupid. Aren't you going to see
Slide in Miami in a few days?"

Me: "Yeah I'm still going, but not for three more weeks."

Bro: "Three weeks? Ok, that's, like 21 days."

Me: "I know! But I'm feeling too impulsive right now to deal with 21 days. I...need...Spain."

Bro: "But, look at it this way: If you wait until tomorrow, it will only be 20 days. If you wait a week, it will only be 14 days. And you'll be in Manhattan between now and then anyway. If you really want to get your Spanish fix, you can just disappear into Spanish Harlem for a day. Plus this, you can find plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied between now and then...and then you can se habla tons of Spanish in Miami, anyway..."

Me: "I know, I know. You're totally right. Thank you."

Bro: "Plus this, SAVE your money and blow it on an INSANE time in Miami!! After all, you're going to be partying in MIAMI with Slide...and that guy is a MANIAC!"

Me: "Yeah, it's going to be great to see him."

Bro: "No, I take that back, Slide isn't a maniac. He's a TANGENT! He's the arc between two lines. Always interesting. Never direct. But he always comes through. You know it's going to be a great time. My suggestion? Save your money between now and then, get yourself to the gym and work on that bikini body...'cause you know you're going to need it to keep up with The Tangent..."

Slide is one of my best friends from my undergraduate years. Aside from being a maniac (which he fully is, and yet I cherish him deeply for his honest, abrupt and utter indecency at times), Bro very aptly recognizes him as a "tangent". While Slide and I manage an on-going, always tangental relationship to all of our "real" relationships, it has been two years since Slide and I shared real airspace. Two years=too long. Slide promises that on this visit, we will drink obscenely expensive red wine and read the dictionary to each other while he roasts a chicken in my honor. Ultimately, I have visions of the poor chicken roasting beyond edible recognition. We are most likely to end up at a Florida truck stop, drinking terrible tequilla and belly laughing until dawn with the ladies and gentlemen of the truckstop underworld. With Slide, anything is possible. Ever since college, our moments together have always begun in the most civilized fashion--dinner at an upscale establishment, then drinks, then overly generous amounts of healthy, happy spontaneity. The wonderful thing about Slide is that we always start at zero by holding hands, counting to three and jumping from the highest rooftop to see what might come next.


Bro is right. I can hold out for Miami. The weather may be bleak and unwelcoming, but life is not.

...and, dear G-d, I desperately need to be on an airplane. And a tan.


Laura said...

I know what you mean about seasonal affective disorder -- at one point in December I hadn't seen the sun in weeks. There's nothing like the sun shining and closing your eyes and soaking up the warmth and happiness. Here's to spring. Hurry up already...

Enjoy Miami!

VJ said...

I'm sorry but this: "the rabbi says, "I would love to see you...but I should warn you that I am going through a highly introspective phase right now...and so...I may not be very physically affectionate", does not seem to appear anywhere in my Roth oeuvre. It does sound a bit like Woody Allen ca. 1970 something though. (OK perhaps on a really bad day). Please do check carefully though, you may already be married to him. Have fun with Slide. What does he do in Miami? But Bro's a useful man to have around. Cheers & Good Luck! 'VJ'

Guy from the Bus said...

Warm, jolly, honest and hilarious as always. What about France? Don't forget, you have fans here, too, Namaste. And what is this about a bikini body? I believe it is difficult to perfect perfection.

Anonymous said...

Searching for escape flights on is a guilty pleasure of mine. Lately, I've found I don't even have to book the ticket--just imagining myself flying off to obscure places and leaving life behind for a few days is therapuetic...

...and is probably a sure sign that something in "real" life has to change! Because, let's face it, dreaming of escape means you've imprisoned yourself somehow and, well, that can't be good.