Thursday, August 13, 2009

Airport Confessional -- SRQ International

It's 6:49 in the morning...
It’s 6:49 in the morning. The sun is just beginning its ascent in the east, midnight blue giving way to the delicate orange, yellow, and pink of the rising ball of fire some 93 million miles away. The airport is nearly deserted now, two full hours before my flight is scheduled to depart and there’s a nice sense of calm about the place that will soon be broken by wailing infants, wailing businesspeople, and wailing travelers. I can understand why the ticket agent at the desk was annoyed that myself and one other traveler were here so early; its so peaceful.

I’m on my way to a film festival in Cleveland, Ohio, which is roughly an hour north of the place of my birth, North Canton. I haven’t been back to the Motherland in 17 years. I haven’t even been to this airport since I returned from my untriumphant move to New York back in 1997.

Out on the tarmac, the airport workers are connecting what I hope is our plane to their cart so they can move it into position near the gangway. I hope I have a window seat, I forgot to check when I checked in.

I love to fly. It’s utterly terrifying to think about logistically, but none of that seems to matter when they open the throttle and you’re rocketing down the runway and then up up up into the sky. It’s so wonderful to look at the world from a different perspective; I think more people need to fly and to be seated at the window, so they can look at the world on which we live and how it’s really not that bad a place and could be better if we’d all just get over ourselves.

*****

“Bad Moon Rising” just started on the airport radio station. Is it bad that the only thing that comes to mind when I hear this song is Kevin Kline and Tom Berenger zooming down the road with the top down on a Jeep? No, I don’t think about An American Werewolf in London, I think of The Big Chill. I used to watch that film over and over when I was a kid, even though I really didn’t understand most of it until I was older. I never understood that the opening credits, and the body and the stitches, was the Alex they were talking about, though I understood that Alex was dead. I always thought that the girl who was dressing the guy was really nice to be dressing him, maybe it was his mom. And that he had strange wrists. I probably thought that was Glenn Close dressing Kevin Kline or something.

*****

It’s twenty minutes later and I’m thinking that soon I’m going to regret choosing this particular seat, right in front of the east-facing windows. But for now, I’m happy. I took some really nice pictures of the sun lifting up over the horizon that I’ll post when I get to the hotel in a few hours. Man, ain’t that a killer thought? Here I am, on the gulf coast of Florida about to board a plane (and then another one) that will take me to Ohio within four hours. It takes almost that long just to drive to Orlando from here.

I have a friend who gets all existential when she does laundry...I suppose that airports do that to me. I don’t think it’s the fact that I’m going to strap myself into a seat on a jet-fueled airplane and more the fact that I’m leaving everything I know and the people I love and heading to a place completely unknown to me (I’ve never been to Cleveland, at least not that I remember) and be surrounded by people that are, for all intents and purposes, completely unfamiliar.

I’m not a big fan of crowds, or attention for that matter. I have a hard time talking up my work. I do what I do and wish that my work, and how hard I work to bring that work to life, could speak for itself, but in this business I’ve become a part of, you need to be able to talk yourself up, to promote yourself. These film festivals are good exercise, but I wonder if I’ll have to almost split into two Loris, the me I know and the me I have to be so I can do what I love.

See? Existential. And I’m so low in the echelon as a filmmaker that it’s probably not a real question anyway.

Yup...regretting this seat now. Sun’s in my eyeballs...I’m a Goth, why in the world did I choose to get up this early?!

2 comments:

Marvin the Martian said...

I love SRQ. But my favorite airport of all time is SNA, John Wayne International, Orange County. Beautiful airport, always sunny, right by the 405 so you can get going on your drive, and a honking big statue of The Duke in the lobby.

Lori said...

Marvin: I haven't been there yet. Who knows, though, I still have tonnes of festivals to hear from so maybe one of these days I'll get over there! I liked LaGuardia, but I think that's tinted by the fact that when I landed in LaGuardia, I was moving to New York...