Discreet Music | December 28, 2017

Lufthansa flight 490, Frankfurt to Seattle
(Somewhere between Iceland and Canada)

The moon was just some broken tooth or pink stone, the way it sat in the clouds looking in at us. We stayed at an airport hotel and enjoyed it more than I thought we would. They had picture books with Bowie and Freddy Mercury, a plasma screen with hashtag Instagram stuff, two men with beards in flannel kissing. Charlotte and I got into a fight (1 of 5, or more) and I said get your fucking shoes on, but it provoked no response. We watched a Quentin Tarantino film about Nazis and bad Americans with Brad Pitt set in France, two hours of people saying and doing hateful things to one another, but enjoyed it immensely. Then Lily got a message on her phone in the other room and started hyperventilating at a crux point in the film and I had to pause it, and sat watching the frozen still of a Nazi smiling from the other side of a desk with my Schwarzriesling, feeling sorry for myself while Dawn went in to deal with it.

On the airplane monitor, a flight simulator of the earth angled like the start of a movie with us in it, 35,000 feet above the surface. The moon rose and the colors turned pink, purple and blue—and when I tried to photograph it it looked like a Rothko. At the airport terminal the way to check in wasn’t as obvious as you’d think, and I had to get a trolley for our luggage then try to find a lift, was lucky for a man who spoke English, who guided us to the last door on the right, “over the top and come down,” he said: but we had to do all the check-in and baggage ourselves, and then I got picked for extra security by way of the four S’s on my ticket which is random, they said. And we were walked by the security guy to another checkpoint where I hoped it would give me a story, but I just had to open my bag and let the guy feel my ankles and feet which he did with rubber gloves on, making a face.

We stopped at a kiosk so the kids could spend the money Eberhard’s mom gave them and I bought a can of beer: the cashier said if I returned it she’d give me 25 cents, which I did on principle—and then she said in perfect English, we don’t work here as many hours as you do in the States, some of you do twenty-four seven, she said.

“Discreet Music” is the name of a Brian Eno album from 1975 and also a new blog series I’m running through January, prompted by a journal-writing theme I started in Germany over the holidays. It’s inspired by the David Sedaris book I’m reading that chronicles his journal entries from the late ’70s onward.

The goal of this series is for me to continue working on ‘found insights’ and observations throughout the day that are both personal and universal, and trigger thoughts and feelings in readers. Thanks for visiting. — Bill

Categories: Memoir, writing

Tags: , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. i like these slices of a day in your life. i’m reading sedaris’ new book too, and love it –


    • What do you love about David’s book, if I might ask? I’m transfixed by it. I love his voice and him as a person so much I can’t stop reading it, but I’m not sure why. It bothers me, the format, but I’m working through it and trying to understand why it bothers me, and also mimic his style some on my blog, to find how it works for me and my writing. Bill


  2. And Bill finishes the year off, sinking his crescent moon shaped writing fang into the little esoterica that makes up slices of life, giving them colors: sometimes pinks, sometimes purples, sometimes blue.

    Which isn’t to say he writes purple prose.

    Happy New Year Bill. Hope 2018 finds you in the pink, with only the rare case of the blues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, that is an absolute gem of a comment package there mister, like a really nice chocolate with some gooey liqueur thing inside. Thank you. Peace to you and yours, my friend. To meeting up in Portland this year too! Or Seattle! Let’s make it so. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love entering a hotel room, no matter how bland or seedy. “All this for me?”


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