Leaving the Intercontinental, Frankfurt via the A67

Urban art, Berlin

Urban art, Berlin

Something like 7 AM in the Frankfurt airport parking garage and the lift is out of order so we take the stairs and right away, it’s that Cold War vibe from the paint tones and the little signs and starkness of it all with no one anywhere, the sense the stairwells have a logic that’s detailed and ominous and foreign, with doors accessed by badge only and the stairs terminating suddenly and leading to another set of stairs where we startle people in sleeping bags who appear to be airport employees jerking to life when we throw open the doors — and when we emerge in the terminal at last and Dawn gropes for her papers, her ticket, I realize we’re starting to really look older now, we’re starting to look befuddled at times, and that’s when it starts.

Leaving the hotel room I have to double-, triple-check my pockets for where I’ve put things because I’m getting cocky about putting things in different pockets when it used to be that certain things went certain places and now that I put them anywhere, I can’t keep track of anything.

We make reservations for the hotel restaurant and have a drink in the bar first, try to find somewhere we can sit without having to look at images of Donald Trump splayed on the flat screen, a seat in the corner, but still, Dawn can see him in the reflection of a mirror on a pillar by the buffet table and he’s leaning in and mocking us, saying hateful things, making me say hateful things, making me want to shove back and wave a baseball bat but instead, we wait for our drinks and complain about how much they cost: almost €30 for a Negroni and a Hugo, which only has like Prosecco and mint, and elderflower syrup, and the bartender has her three-ringed recipe binder out looking up “Negroni,” serves it with a plastic sword speared through an orange wedge and a cherry, and when I’m done I feel better, I’ve forgotten all about Donald Trump.

We put our faith in Colin Firth, in an action spy film in our room, but someone gets cut in half like an apple in the opening scene and it’s hard to recover from that, and even though it’s comic book violence, what they call stylized, which seems a kind of excuse for being gory but in an artistic sense, it’s unsettling to watch him in a church full of hateful southerners in a mass shooting spree, and when it’s over it’s 9:40 already and Dawn has to get up at 5, and I feel like we’ve wasted our last night together, when we could have just talked.

My navigator has me wrap around the airport in a purple umbilical cord and spool off into space on the A3 to Basel, the A5 to Würzburg, the A6 to Stuttgart, stopped on the A67 with everyone gripping their heads in a stop-and-go hell, two men on the highway out of their cars shouting about something until they start stiff arming each other and it moves in stills we’re going so slow, everyone can watch as their faces stretch and their glasses twist and one gets the other against the guardrail and wraps his arms behind him and says hateful things that look almost sexual how he’s holding him, and we’re in the traffic so long we get to see it all, and wonder how it was for each of them afterwards as they walk away mumbling, licking themselves like cats.

It’s a long drive for someone with nothing to think about, Frankfurt to Besigheim. I stop at a roadside eatery, a gas station, and wonder if I’ve stopped at this one before but they all look alike, and the play area is empty and the sky almost nice, but not, and I know I should feel different after all this time away in Europe, we talk about it driving up to Frankfurt, Dawn and I: how we did this and why we did it and where we stand now, with it almost over, and think back on how it came to be and if we’ll come back, or how we’ll do it again, and I say something like, “this is probably the last time we’ll be able to do something like this” and Dawn reminds me not to sound that way, to sound so self-limiting, she says, and she’s probably right.

That’s getting old right there, that’s when it starts.

 

 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in musings, travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Leaving the Intercontinental, Frankfurt via the A67

  1. Lynn Love says:

    Fantastic writing Bill! That first paragraph, with the Cold War slipping over into today – amazing, so strong it felt like I was sitting on your shoulder. You’ve made it all sound quite dark, melancholic – a sinister Germany, this one. Those randomly viewed acts of violence are horrible, aren’t they? Once saw a man beating another man’s face flat – just the state of the guys face, the man doing the beating using such a solid, rhythmic action, as if it was a slog he just had to get through, like repeating a tedious action in a factory. Still makes me shiver.
    And yes, I feel on the verge of bafflement myself – worrying, isn’t it? Forgetting why you’ve entered a room, forgetting words …
    On a brighter note, I love the sound of a ‘Negroni’ – I think I’d happily forget about Donald Trump after a couple of those. 🙂

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Airports can feel sinister in the early mornings, alright — especially on a Monday, though Monday doesn’t mean much when you’re not working. Thanks, Lynn — had some dark, brooding moods happening here, just trying to trap them and label them in the freezer with the other odd bugs and twisted shapes. Good sunset here right now, some Reggae music and kids in blankets sprawled out on the sofa with the dog. Def Leppard just came on. Things are looking up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        ‘ just trying to trap them and label them in the freezer with the other odd bugs and twisted shapes’ – what a grand phrase that is!
        Too overcast for a sunset here, but yours sounds grand – kids in blankets, dog and Def Leppard, not a bad way to end the day!

        Liked by 1 person

      • pinklightsabre says:

        Keep your eyes out for the moon, in case it burns off…well worth it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. rossmurray1 says:

    Oh god. Ohgodohgodohgod. “Befuddled.” That’s it. That’s the fear. I’ve watched my dad become hesitant and I can see it out of the corner of my eye when I’m navigating traffic or a hotel receptionist. However, I did do minor home re-wiring Saturday and am feeling especially vital in that regard.
    I watched that movie. All good fun, I kept telling myself. So meta. But in the end, I had to admit myself that it’s too nasty to be fun. Won’t be seeing Deadpool any time soon, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      I think even my kids look befuddled early enough in the morning; most do in airports. But there’s a befuddled look too when you start to get old. I think I’m too sensitive for those violence films. I should be looking for a job with the park service. Wait, who needs park services?!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Suzanne says:

    You had me smiling as I sit on my couch overlooking the Georgia Strait drinking tea
    Sun trying to push its way through the forever lasting rain clouds but it’s winning
    Thanks for the read at breakfast

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      That’s beautiful and the pleasure is all mine Suzanne, not much work for a smile, well worth it. Here’s to more sun and you’ve got a good moon coming your way, too.

      Like

  4. ksbeth says:

    yes, befuddled is certainly it. but aren’t we all at certain times and in certain places/circumstances?

    Like

  5. Beautiful post. My wife and I have a term for when one of us is especially befuddled. We say, “That’s kind of AARP-y.” And we’re experiencing quite a bit of it these days (somewhat older than you!). But the befuddledness might be an adaptation that protects us. If you can’t figure out whey people are staring down at their phones as they walk on a crowded street, why give it any thought? Let it go.

    “That’s when it starts” is a good phrase. It starts constantly, and it started a long time ago …

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Thanks Kevin, fun topic and not so, but confronting–the notion it’s a state of mind, but it’s not just that it’s also physical decomposition, and the mental, the attitude that goes alongside it, how much of it we can control. I’m glad you liked it, thanks.

      Like

  6. daveply says:

    Befuddled. Seems like that’s the state of the world these days, everybody all at odds, maybe because they’re so locked into their own small worldview they find anything else befuddling.

    BTW I saw that movie too. It started off so promising, then tried to be Austin Powers, then degenerated into something Quentin Tarantino would create. It tried to be all things, and failed at all of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Yes, the world can look that way; times aren’t much different probably but feel that way. Really wanted to like that movie, and too bad: we don’t watch many, oh well. It had its moments, makes the good movies all the better dunnit? I have a touch of Scotch to finish, to hell with that film. Might even have a cigarette I’m thinking.

      Like

  7. Yahooey says:

    Limit the self-limiters, replace with grander delusions.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. walt walker says:

    I was typing my comment to this on my smart phone earlier today, while at work. I doubled back to proof-read before sending, then hit send. Then I saw the ‘reply sent’ box appear on top of a different set of comments than the one I’d started with. I saw a different blog I follow. Somehow, the comment I began on your blog (or so I thought) wound up on someone else’s. I don’t know how it happened, but I’m sure it was my fault. I’m not blaming the smart phone here (I did on the other blog). I’m blaming my own dumb ass. My old age. That’s how you know it’s not just begun, you’re deep down in it. Luckily the other blog was a blog mostly followed by people even older than me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. At a rally yesterday, there was a protester and Trump said he wanted to,”…punch him in the face.” That’s our presidential candidate. Don’t come back here. It’s awful.

    ‘Kingsman’ was a gigantic hit. Expect more.

    Nice art. Extra creepy when you magnify. And the writing, the writing, the writing. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Thank you Mark. These comments of ours, we just got put on a list somewhere and will be shuffled into a gray room in a parking garage in a few years and given a talk to by someone hateful. Bill

      Like

  10. poshbirdy says:

    Fantastic observation, though way too close to how I feel lately

    Liked by 1 person

  11. byebyebeer says:

    That movie was kind of dumb, but entertaining, memorable. Isn’t it strange to get glimpses of ourselves and spouses looking old, or acting that way, even feeling it? And yet we still have decades left, probably. One thing I realized this weekend while visiting an elderly relative is how hoarding is definitely an old person thing (you can’t take it with you!), and that reminded me of what you said in a recent post about attachment to things. And I decided I don’t want to keep accumulating crap, yet I just bought a 24 pack of pens (not pilots) because they were on sale, so I’m afraid I’m getting older anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      That’s awesome Kristen. Gold star comment there. You probably are getting older, I just did now too. Waiting for my Pilots still from America. Expecting newfound magic when they arrive, just like Christmas. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Anonymous says:

    Don’t go there! Don’t even think about going there! You are easily a quarter century younger than I am, and I WILL NOT identify myself as old. (it is nice to have spellcheck, however, as my brain, so filled with wisdom acquired over the years, decides that there simply isn’t room for how words are spelled.) I love your writing, you know.

    Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s