Wednesday, November 27, 2002

currently at mom's house in elmhurst, il. spent six hours in the middle seat on an AA flight between here and austin. the plane sat on the runway for about 90 minutes due to snow over o'hare. the lady to my left read alice sebold's the lovely bones, the man to my right read a golf magazine. i didn't have the energy to begin talking to either of them. it preserved a sense of balance. each of us emanated the same type of polite, quiet indifference. my mom's friend tom bought us dinner at a nice italian place, capri, on north avenue. which was great. i ate two stacks of interleaved eggplant and breaded veal slices, that floated like battleships in a sea of red marinara.

read about 80 pages of rosellyn brown's "half a heart" on the flight. the main character, miriam vener, has seemingly begun to screw things up with her daughter, veronica, who she is visiting for the first time in seventeen years. on flights, i am more aware than usual of peoples' styles and behavior, and aspects of consumerism and the comfortable life seem to be everywhere. you pick up "sky mall" and start dreaming about a more comfortable life, one where you have a huge bathroom and a tub with massaging jets, nice shirts and ties, a labrador retriever who sleeps in his cedar-lined wicker basket bed. as ashamed as i am to admit it, the in-flight consumer experience gives me hope for my future. despite myself, i am comforted and inspired by it. reading brown's book did not exactly reinforce this, but it didn't contradict it either. the main character, miriam, is somebody who has built the second half of her life around "comfort."

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