beat me in st louis
3:48 a.m., Central time. I'm in the Lambert airport in St. Louis. I've been here all night and will presumably be here until 11:30, when the next flight to Cedar Rapids takes off. Everything tonight got canceled because of fog. TWA said they were very sorry and suggested I find a hotel where I might be able to get a discounted rate. Your discounted rate, I replied, can suck donkey dingaling, only of course I said it mentally. So I'm in the airport. It's me and the janitors. Whenever they walk by they sort of glare at me, which I suppose makes sense considering this is tidy-up time for the airport and here I am slouching around and availing myself of the bathroom and using up paper towels and so on before they have a chance to clean up in the first place.
I haven't slept. I tried for a while but every time I'm about to drop off I suddenly freak out and think someone's going to steal my laptop, or else the recording of the man with the hideously debonair voice comes on and says:
St. Louis county ordinances and Missouri state law prohibit smoking in the airport, except in designated smoking lounges. Please refer to the directory for their location. Thank you for your cooperation.
I get reminded of this like every five minutes. Also there's this pay phone next to me that for no apparent reason periodically emits a tone pitched so high that it's right on the edge of humanly detectable frequencies, so you're never sure if you're hearing it or not. There it goes again. Horrid! Also they just put on a Muzak version of "Something," which is my favorite Beatles song. I can only interpret this as a personal insult to me from the city of St. Louis. Also my throat hurts and I've developed a cough and my immune system isn't really in top form to fight whatever airport pathogen I've contracted.
TWA gave me a baggie to make me feel better. The baggie has dental hygiene implements and a razor and a little trial-size thing of detergent. I don't understand what the detergent is for. I suppose I could theoretically remove my underwear in a bathroom stall and then wash it in the sink, but I haven't gotten that bored yet. TWA gave me nothing else. I guess this is what I should expect from a bankrupt airline. The current location of my luggage is highly unclear.
I ate dinner at a bar called "Cheers." They gave me a cheeseburger and 33 ounces of Sam Adams. I didn't realize that the big beer was 33 ounces, but it was, so I drank it and then the moving sidewalks were amusing so I spent a while going back and forth on those. Then an hour later I got sort of an instahangover and since then I've been reading. So far I've read Ishiguro's Remains of the Day and Abe's Woman in the Dunes. The former was wonderful and I'm kicking myself for not getting around to Ishiguro sooner. The plight of the latter's man and woman was kind of like Beckett's people in jars, only more poignant because something vaguely akin to love exists between the two.
Suddenly a sorrow the color of dawn welled up in him. They might as well lick each other's wounds. But they would lick forever, and the wounds would never heal, and in the end their tongues would be worn away.
What is up with this plaintive ultrahigh frequency dog whistle fucking phone? I think I might have more books on me, but I haven't looked yet because there's all this long underwear to dig through in my luggage. I don't know either.
Now comes the big question of can I actually update the site from the airport. Answer: no, because the pay phones have data ports but I don't have a phone cord. So this will have to go up after the fact, this afternoon, once I get to Iowa City. Happy January, folks.