After clearing out of the room I drove around a bit looking for long-term parking. I almost parked in the airport lot, but thought better of it and went across the street to the Hilton where, as it turns out, I will save about fifty percent for my two weeks of parking. This quest for the bargain drives me at some subconscious level, instilled by my parents or bred into me from both sides, depending on whether you like nurture or nature as the prime mover of human behavior. Of course it doesn’t always work out, as the peeling wallpaper, wobbling toilet, and washcloth-sized bath towels of last night’s bargain hunt reminded me once again this morning.
Now I’m in the gentle wi-fi environs of the airport itself, killing time until check-in, drinking that dark roast coffee everybody but me seems to prefer, and enjoying the comparative luxury of a strong internet connection signal. The Sprint card is great, but it’s slow. I really shouldn’t complain; the card is being paid for by one of Laurine’s former employers, and they haven’t gotten around to taking it away, or canceling it, or whatever happens. Talk about a bargain! It would cost sixty or seventy bucks a month, and I’d pay it for sure to have the internet on the road. No equivalent of a cheap motel there unless I want to drag my ass into restaurants and libraries all the time.
My fear of flying kept me out of airports long enough that I’m not tired of them yet. People love to complain, and frequent flyers like Laurine are probably entitled to do so (though she doesn’t, by nature), but I still get a kick out of the whole experience, especially when the Xanax starts to work. They're clean and spacious, for the most part, and the people are upbeat and on the move. And after all these weeks of inching along a stride at a time, I’m in awe of the speed at which the same distance can be covered through the air.
Though I visited Louisiana a few times years ago, I feel that most of its mysteries await me. The drive down last evening hinted at them--a welcome sign in English and French (just a gimmick, I’m sure, but cool anyway); parishes instead of counties; long stretches of swampy nothing under causeways; and a perceptible uptick in attitude on the part of the locals, conveying their confidence that they’re somewhere with more going for it than perverse pride in having lost a war. I can’t help contrasting that in my mind to the toxically nostalgic mentality of much of the rest of the south. It remains to be seen whether these impressions will stand up to the light of day.
Until then, good holidays to you.