So I just touched down here in Atlanta, Georgia.
The people here talk fast but move slow. They drive faster than they talk and they give off that vibe like they got somethin' I don't, or know somethin' I won't.
I fucking love the south. It's smooth like butter here. My connecting flight to Panama City is in about an hour, so I sit here in the smoking lounge of an airport bar wondering why, in Colorado, they pipe in Jack Johnson and here it's naught but R&B and hip hop.
No. No. That's not what I wonder. I wonder why it is that if the muzak were switched, and I heard Jack Johnson over the bustle of this blue-colored bar, I would feel suddenly as though I wasn't here and that this wasn't real. I wonder this and white smoke curls up from the ash tray next to me, connecting me to the known.
To travel in America is to be reminded that the threads of culture, while consistently made of the same fiber, are woven in distinctive patterns, and that the distinction is only visible by removing oneself from the normalcy of one's life. If the patchwork appeal of the American tapestry is only visible from such a broader perspective, then I am reminded that I ought to remove myself at every given opportunity from what is my "normalcy".
The young girl serving drinks pauses briefly to see the CNN report of Iraqi deployed US troops coming home. She looks over to two equally young men in fatigues and asks:
"Are y'all comin' home?"
That sweet, wet Southern drawl is musical.
One responds, "no. We on leave for two weeks. Then back to Afghanistan."
"Why they get to come home and you don't?"
The older one glances at the screen, then back at her. He smiles wryly.
"Cause that one's done... and Afghanistan ain't."
"That's some bull shit..." she says. He laughs and pulls off of his bottled beer.
Normalcy here. Someone else's. I love these things.
The tally was approximately as follows:
"The Audacity of Hope" - Nine Votes
"Going Rogue" - Twelve Votes
"Twilight" - Twenty-Nine Votes
Thank you all for voting. I have Twilight and have begun reading it. I'll step back from my normalcy and look for the fiber beneath the weave of this book. I will let you all know how it goes.
Apologies in advance for my lack of blog interaction over the next few days. There's a beach in Panama City that I'm told is calling my name. There are warm people there, waiting for me. There is unconditional love in odd shaped packages there, and I must attend to these matters with the care that such matters warrant.