Friday, November 2, 2007

some kittens can fly- parte una (1)

I hate to fly- its not the flying itself, its the crashing that concerns me really- that being said, I recently took a beautiful trip to mother Sicily, land of my peeps- a trip long overdue.
The pure excitement and joy of traveling to a place I always wanted to visit was the pinky-pink pate that wiped out the last vestiges of my malaise and fear.
As it was planned ahead of time Mr. Moose and I would travel by motor car to New York, stay the night, swoop in on Mama Rosa Maria in a nearby hamlet and then fly out of JFK the following day.
That being the case I insisted we spend the night in The Howard Johnson's in Jericho on Long Island- certainly a vague destination yes, but this was the motel that Connie Francis was raped back in 1974 after performing at the Westbury Music Fair. Seems creepy I know, but to me it is the equivalent to visiting Canterbury to see where Thomas Beckett was martyred.
(History, I'm just mad about it. I love strange hotel rooms on occasion- like eating Fugu there always is a sense of danger. Once while looking at a house that had once been a parsonage outside of Tappahannock Virginia we stayed at a "No-tell Motel" in which I found a large wrench upon turning down the covers- I took it more as a gift from the gods of hardware than an ill omen.)
We arrived at the Jericho HoJo rather late and the place looked like Miss Howard had been a little roughed up around the edges herself- we checked into the first room and looking around the place, the ambiance seemed a bit - um, suspenseful.
I am a firm believer that like the suspense of dating some one new- (Does he really like me? Who is going to fart first? Is this a crab? How long can I keep on doing this English accent?) - If the suspense doesn't kill you, something else eventually will.

There was a freshly painted wall which was betraying a very particular very large design - an Aztec Glyph I think -that had been previously drawn in what looked like blood that was now seeping through the whitewash- It was ponderous, chilling, artful even- but not really until after the air conditioning failed to work and finding the mini-bar poorly stocked did we decide to switch rooms.
Upon our settling in to the new room - much better and far less thematic- I thought about calling up a large and rather thuggish Moor to come over and make the Connie Francis experience complete, but after a rather long day, we decided against it.

The following morning we greeted the sunrise, having slept like a fading chanteuse on Quaaludes, the day being spent in a flurry of last minute shopping. I decided -at first- to wear all black with matching shades on the plane, but upon beholding my reflection in the mirror, I unfortunately looked a bit like a Russian spy in a low budget porn flick circa '73.
After choosing a smart yet rugged ensemble of browns and merde de bébé yellow, we were off, arriving at JFK a few hours early in time to have a snack and a bit of liquid courage for myself.
The 9:30 pm flight was delightfully on time with the Alitalia flight attendants smiling and nodding, their use of cosmetics and the word "Prego" being generous to a fault.
As we flew east into the night, my thoughts turned to counting my blessings and the people in DC and in New Orleans that were so similar to one another- A truly American creation- the "Hip Hop Nation" -people with far less range and magnitude, yet far more inventive names and hair styles- grasping at straws over real and imagined insults, goals and struggles in the supposed glamorous netherworld of thug life and prison street cred.
Would there be a variation on this theme in Sicily? Would I hear rap tunes with samples from my favourite hits from the 80's?
After a quick beverage service, a light dinner and even more "Pregos" than Hail Marys in a rosary, we were left to drift off to dream land- I myself had a seat that didn't recline, so I slept bolt upright with a map in my lap and lights blaring- It was Very Napoleonic.
Now a drink fit for a plane ride to Palermo!
The Fresh Hell!
One Moretti Beer
One Ambien
Two more Moretti beers
Two ear plugs
Three Xanax
Three more Moretti Beers
Combine and pepper lightly with a few chapters of the writings of Dorothy Parker
Pass out accordingly, (with a certain style of course)
When you awaken say to those around you, "What fresh hell is this?"
Demand a warm towelette. (soaked in sarcasm and veiled threats preferably)

To be continued........

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man