But Then How Will We Know We’ve Arrived?

In general, I think the comings and goings boards in airports and train stations invite reverie, be it wistful (“Ah, Paris…”), wishful (“Someday, Bombay…”), or wondering (“Where the hell is Show Low?”). But I gotta hand it to whoever programs the Departures monitors at the Miami International Airport for this bit of handiwork.

Unknown FliFO

Who boards a flight when the airline doesn’t know where it’s going? What does that person pack? How into their long and engrossing book do they let themselves get? Should we be concerned that a flight to “Unknown” is departing from an airport whose three-letter IATA code is M.I.A.?

Who works such a flight? Does the crew know where they’re going? Surely the pilot, at least? If they don’t know where they’re going, how do they pace their service?

Who walks up to the Departures monitor looking for this flight? ” I just want to see if Auntie McGee got off on time.” “Where was she going?” “I don’t know.” “OK, let’s look under ‘Unknown’… There it is!”

And still it managed to depart late. You don’t know where you’re going, but you know you’re late leaving to get there? Who are you, Eeyore? You probably  also assume it’s going to be raining when you arrive and all the good-looking men will be married or straight. You might wanna read up on Positive Mental Attitude before you plan your next mystery vacation.

We were looking for our own departure gate when my flying partner brought this to my attention, and my imagination instantly bounced out in a thousand directions at once. The incompetence! The hilarity! The What the Hell?! So much of the magic has been sucked out of travel for me these days. For most of History, the Journey has been as big an adventure as the Destination itself. And flying certainly used to be, but now it’s a blaring, billboard-saturated, TSA-monitored hassle. Most days. Every once in a while — and it helps if you’re in an airport with good cuban coffee — I’m reminded that the main reason I was drawn to travel was to explore. This day I eventually winged off to Houston, or Chicago, or another who-remembers-where that I’ve been to a million times, but my wheels had been set a-turn. Yeah, I’ve ben to hundred of cities in dozens of countries, but it’s still true: an immeasurable majority of the world’s art, food, architecture, waterfalls, smells, and smiles — not to mention the entirety of Show Low, Arizona — are yet Unknown. If you’re gonna bother to put your camera, your notebook, and a clean pair of underwear in a bag and set out, what better place to go?

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Merci. (Beau Cul)

 

DSCN2824Bonjour!  I’m posting this photo, snapped by me about 4 years ago, because today (more than most days, you understand, although on a certain level this is more or less a permanent condition) I am longing for France.  My sister and brother-in-law are there now, fêteing his 40th birthday, and when my buddy passes go to Paris, I always feel like I should tag along and kind of tend to them.  I just figure, if my seniority date is going to show up on the manifest, my butt should be maxed out in a First Class seat with a glass of champagne to justify it.  (An attachment which, I should note, falls off drastically when my buddy passes are going to, say, Baltimore or Sacramento.)

I also post it for motivation.  Our friends at JMS Books put out a call for submissions recently for, among other things, Gay Vacation Romance stories, and the hope is that this photo will inspire me to write something brilliant and sunset-tinted about falling in love in (with?) France.  And I haven’t been in four years, so I’ll pretty much have to take the five days off I have at the end of this month, traipse off to Paris, drink wine and look at boys and call it research.  Cuz otherwise, my last “vacation” was hundred-hand penny Video Poker and chicken-fried steak and eggs in Central City, and nobody wants to read about that…

 

A Jar of Queer Feelings

star jarHello, Friends.  If you celebrated Christmas yesterday, I hope it was festive and fortifying.  Unless Santa brought you the Ethel Merman Disco Album, too, it probably wasn’t as fabulous and rhythm-driven as ours was, but take heart — if you feel your holiday lacked luster for want of an incredibly gay media project, I have just the digital chapbook for you:

A Jar of Queer Feelings was electronically published yesterday, with plans for print copies to take the world by storm in January.  As project director/founder/publisher Sarah Magdalena Love will tell you, “36 artists and writers have contributed to the first edition of this book series resulting in a collage of queer life that touches on various dimensions like family, sexuality, politics, gender and liberation through various art forms, personal essays and poetry.”  I mixed it up a little bit for this project and submitted a photo rather than a piece of writing, and one that captures life in this house at its gender-bending queerest, at that.  As you know (or can learn here), I had my own set of struggles around my husband’s entrée into his glam and glittery Drag Career, most of which stemmed from gender norms and expectations, both mine and my fears around “theirs.” (And subsequently from my shame and irritation at letting what “they” think impact my home life and my relationship here in my forties.)  I still don’t really kiss him when he’s got lipstick on, and I definitely don’t understand why anyone would volunteer to squeeze into pantyhose, but my fears and my shame have been wrestled to the ground, and I embrace each opportunity to celebrate new, feather-strewn layers of my husband’s fabulousness, and of our Big Queer Life together.  And so I’m especially pleased to be a part of a project that will donate all proceeds to Gendered Intelligence, a charity that believes, as my husband and I do, that “the arts are an amazing tool for sharing our stories, platforming our voices and building awareness around the ways in which heteronormativity regulates and restricts everyone.”

You can be like The Merm, who’s always doing something for the boys, and get your very own copy for US$3.30 here.