The longest day
Dear seat 36 C:
It’s me, 37 C.
Oh, you know….those 2 pesky lumps that have been lodged against your back the entire flight?
Those are my goddamned knees.
Yes, I know it’s a long flight. I’m on the same plane, remember?
Oh 36 C, you rascal.
I sized you up the moment you boarded, all Juicy sweats and Sharper Image neck pillow, a warrior ready to take on this eleven hour descent into hell.
It must be torture, you being all of 4 foot 10 inch tall, being wedged into these business class seats.
Bring it back sweetheart.
Oh—- that crunch and crackle you hear? Just kneecap and ligament, hon.
Don’t mind me.
And when you first slammed your full weight back into my abused legs, and you just couldn’t figure out why you couldn’t achieve that extra 2 inches of recline?
And then you turned fully around and gave me the dirty look and bitched me out in Tagalog?
Atlantic crossing, it’s one of those necessary evils, like having major dental work or painting the inside of a vaulted living room.
You will somehow get it done, but that doesn’t calm the dread you feel for days prior.
And you can’t quite believe you’re going to do it once again, not until the cabin doors shut with the finality of the hanging judge’s gavel coming down upon the last syllable of the word: GUILTY.
Oh 36C, what are we gonna do with you?
Now what are you doing up there, some sort of bikram yoga?
Or are you just bouncing back in your seat to see if you can compress my femurs another millimeter?
You go, lady!
When we hit the ground at Heathrow, the day is not even half done, as we are connecting to Hamburg, then it’s off to Kiel for show one.
Oh, I know, trey-six, I usually get there a day early and drown the jet lag away with pints of Guiness a day or 2 before show one.
But time is tight this year, you see, and so it’s a hella long day of travel and then onto stage. We can do it.
The usual hi jinks, flight delays at Heathrow, the British Airways flight idling on tarmac a full 40 minutes before the welcomed throaty thrill of acceleration.
What’s that 36C? How was the legroom on that flight?
Oh, couldn’t say, as the feeling hasn’t returned to my nether regions, but thanks for asking!
We’re through Customs and baggage in no time and we meet up with our man Frank the Tank and the Euro van version 2013!
It’s all coming back to us now. The lush green of the fields, the outrageous bloom of sunflowers along the road. It is not 10 minutes before someone cracks the first Ausfarht joke, and we know we’re back.
Scuabude is the swinging club for the night, and it’s there we are reconnected with madman Booker Benny.
Benny’s been a busy bee, booking not just us, but TSOL and the Stitches for this Summer.
And yet he still finds time to sit us down for a homecooked meal!
The show is just great, all sweat and stupid jokes, the four of us acting like the clueless yanks we are, pleading for someone with a bottle opener to rescue us every other song.
And just like that we’re out in the warm night, gulping down breaths of the sweet Summer air and peeling off clothes that are stuck to body with the glue of honest sweat.
Wet as if we’d spent the night frolicking in the fountains in front of Gatsby’s manicured lawns.
Oh 36C, you should have seen us!
With a second wind that surprised us, we toasted the night again and again with our Euro pals. And when we finally lay our head down upon suspect Hostel pillows, we are still not sleepy.
It’s been days—days!– since we last slept, but the adrenaline buzz of the night, the pressurized cabin air in our bowels and the syrupy Jagermeister swimming our veins keeps us awake for a few moments more.
Just enough time to jot this note to you, ol 36C, ol buddy.
And I wonder where you are now and what you are doing, and how you can possibly recline easily in the comfort of your hotel room— without the familiar pressure of my knees against your back.