Saturday, October 30, 2004

in the swing of things

Friday morning, I was out my door at 20 to 6 and off for BART and the airport. Despite the fact that my airline went bankrupt earlier in the week, my trip was what you might expect "it had its ups and downs" as my dad would joke. My seat mates were quiet, and I plowed through a Nevada Barr mystery and poked my head out the window whenever I had a moment: a beautiful array of clouds and snow colored landscapes.

Passing low into Philadelphia I was surprised to see a bunch of navy ships -- more than I would have expected, more than you'd find in SF or Oakland. A larger tanker was midway to completion on a nearby dry dock its ribs still exposed to the sky. I didn't think they did things like that in the States anymore.

The pilot brought our flight to an abrupt end, slamming into the runaway a good deal harder than I've ever experienced, but still leaving the plane and us intact.

The most blessed part of the trip was that I heard nary a whisper of politics all day, no overheard conservations, nothing, no buttons for bush or kerry, nor any other visible sign of support. The only glimpse really was on newspaper covers. Everyone else travelling incognito and avoiding the inevitable conflicts, just like me perhaps.

My friend's wife LB picked me up from the airport and we drove into the city heading downtown for the PA Dems Hq, where my friend TB was working away.

They city was lively with people, Nation of Islam set up in a park, people walking with large Kerry signs, people in costume, a halloween critical mass cycled past, a 200 strong, loud, happy, and in costume, most pedestrians looking on curiously, a few taking photographs. We picked up dinner at a hole in the wall Indian place around the corner from the office, and then headed on up.

It was a loud and intense place packed with red white and blue Kerry/Edwards signs, maps, dry/erase boards, maps, cables, computers and phones scattered everywhere, clumps of people mostly young gathered around, talking on cell phones. By the end of our dinner (and numerous interruptions) I was glad I decided that I would not work that night, but just get an intro and head back to their place.

The PA narrow streets lined by lovely looking brick buildings were filled with fallen leaves, and people spilling out onto the sidewalk from restaurants, parties, bars, and art openings. TB and LB's apartment is a nice big old place -- if a bit delapidated -- filled with lots of comfy looking chairs and one skittish fat cat named kitty.

I ensconced myself in one of the chairs and a Patrick OBrien novel, the Surgeon's Mate. Willing my exhausted brain to stay up a little later, lest my time become totally whack.

I slept well in the borrowed bed, despite the street noise. Early in the morning I was awakened to a tremendous boom -- a noise that my brain first identified as an empty dumptruck taking a bump. But it and subsequent booms were followed by the low, long, growl of thunder. In my sleep addled way, I began to wonder because I had never remembered a boom like that, although it seemed a natural thing for lightning to do -- in fact, thunder in retrospect seems rather odd. Why are there long peals of thunder when lightning strikes are sudden and momentary? A question I did not ponder long as I fell right back to sleep.

My dreams were long and usually odd -- some stressful some not. Which is a good description of my day today (more on that later)


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