Jun 10, 2005

"The air... it feels so different."

We made it. The going was rough at times, but we found our way.

I am sitting in a fourth floor hotel room at the Courtyard Marriott in Lynnwood, Washington. It is only 10 in the morning, but it feels much more like 6 in the evening. Jet lag, I adore thee so. The normal check-in time is 3 pm, but we wanted a room earlier than that. The best they could do was give us a smoking room, which we quickly settled for. The entire room possesses a slight foul odor of stale cigarette smoke, but it's tolerable, and quite frankly, I don't think I would have been up to running around town for hours before getting some sleep in. The building is very proximate to a freeway, but it cannot be heard with the windows shut. The view of the townscape is nothing to be excited about; it's the typical American town landscape, full of dull-coloured concrete compiling major chain stores and restaurants. The verdancy of this city, however, I immediately took to. There are so many trees and lakes and greenscapes... something I am accustomed to, and would be disappointed not to find in a place like this. We drove right through Seattle on the way up here from the airport, and it was truly a delight to see tall buildings and impressive urban landscapes up close again, for the first time in what seems like a great while.

The 2,800 mile flight over here was not entirely pleasant, though, and I was not expecting it to be. I was sandwiched in on a middle seat, and I could swear that these jetliners just get smaller and smaller every time I step onto one; the aisles narrower, the seats even more unfathomably constricting. I barely had room to move my arms, with both passengers on either side of me silently insisting on using both their arm rests. The leg room, of course, was null. A fidgety wolf who is too often as energetic as a flea on a sugar high has a difficult time staying in one place for five and a half hours. I'm surprised I can deal with these situations as well as I do, considering there is absolutely nowhere I could go short of the shoebox closet commonly referred to as the lavatory (remember, don't tamper with the smoke detectors!) should I decide to oh, say, lose it.

It's strange, though, when the flying is so smooth that the aircraft seems not to be moving at all. The journey across the globe has become virtually effortless, and it was easy to often forget that I was flying at all. I could see nothing out the window but pitch darkness and some odd blinking lights on the wing. Maybe we were actually standing still inside a massive teleportation machine. I don't feel as if I flew here... I feel like I teleported here, magically, and it just happened to take six hours. That's technology, though. It's just... magic. Effortless. The world is just getting smaller and smaller.

My music helped me pull through it all. I brought my notebook computer on board as well, but wasn't able to use it as I simply did not have enough space between my lap and the back of the chair in front of me. Whoever is sitting in front of me always tilts their chair back--Murphy's Law, leaving me with my knees pressing up against the back of their seat because I have nowhere else to put them. I ordinarily don't consider my body build to be that 'big,' but when flying in an airline, I feel like Shaquille O'Neal trying to squeeze himself into a miniature go-kart. Mentally conditioning myself to tolerate sitting still (who am I kidding... I fidget and shift about like crazy) actually takes more energy than would getting up and doing 25-metre dashes up and down the aisle. I'm simply not cut out for it.

Fortunately, the likes of Wolfsheim, Orbital, and The Cure were all on my side. The three top songs of my flight would be "A Forest" by The Cure, "Everyone Who Casts a Shadow" (**shivers gleefully**) by Wolfsheim, and "One Perfect Sunrise" by Orbital. The lattermost song I listened to while the sun was indeed rising above a beautiful snow-capped peak and another nearby mountain range. Something about flying through the air, taking in the aesthetic beauty of a sunrise, and listening to a stellar song all equates to a strong sense of euphoria. The fun has just begun. We've got our Ford Explorer and our hotel room, and things are looking top-notch so far. Later today, though, after we get sufficient rest to cure us of our current zombie-like state, we must buy some clothes and electronic items. Currently, though, I am positively famished. I haven't seen much of Seattle yet, aside from a precursory glimpse of the city along a rapid cruise down the freeway, but I shall, tomorrow!

The air is so nice and cool and crisp... and I have missed that. Then again, after a month, I'll probably miss the tropical air.

...I still can't believe it's only 10:20 in the morning. **Turns out the light and crashes**

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