Calling KLM Airlines- Check that, Calling Air Canada

UPDATE: Senility is hilarious. It turns out that my Priceline flight is now on Air Canada and probably always was. This is sad because KLM has an economy plus section which is far more affordable than Business or First Class.

Part I of my travelogue; in which the heroine prepares for the adventure before her. In a way, all posts from now until I go will be about my trip – even if they are not about my trip – because I am compulsively anticipating with every fiber of my mind and obsessing over how my spine will endure the flight part of the journey.

And, DESPERATELY trying to contact KLM Airlines Air Canada to make an arrangement of some sort to be moved up to Economy Plus or even Business Class so as to endure the flight and not be so mangled when I arrive as to spend the two weeks lying down. Which is fully half of my present life, the half I try to weather with good humour.
I have been watching lots of Spanish language films to brush up on my conversational Spanish because I don’t feel motivated to go through the levels I, II, and III Spanish DVDs I ordered from Netflix, and I think I am re-learning faster this way, and I might be having lighter and more profound dreams – all at once – for these snippets and glimpses into other cultures. I am going to travel soon, very soon, and soonering as I type, to other cultures, two in fact, Geneva and Sant Feliu.

I got a very bad haircut. It will grow. But maybe not in time for this trip. It is two weeks away. Yesterday it was 5 weeks away. Soon it will have been a good time.

Today a breakthrough that makes feel giddy; while watching a Spanish comedy, I notice at some point that I am hearing the dialogue as words; words which I can distinguish, one from another, and which form sentences which I understand. In this particular film I am learning to also hear and understand those words in Castilian Spanish and thusly know I will be able to understand my hosts in Sant Feliu a bit and not just be heard, which goes along with being silent and hearing, and is precious to me. I am learning to recognize the same words in Castilian Spanish and remembering where the lisps are. That is a lilting slip of a word, lisp.

Sometimes I am never anywhere.

Now I suppose I am free-associating.

The Heroine is always quiet, so one wonders what she is thinking yet somehow senses that what she ponders and opines is wise and knowing; perhaps not omniscient but knowing-plus, wise from experience and pain, quiet because she has learned to listen, to that degree. She thinks in semicolons and em dashes, she writes with a jaunty indifference to the parameters of language, when she does articulate, she does it well. One cannot necessarily hear semicolons and em dashes in spoken word and if they can, they cannot prove it.

She smells of exotic lettuce-y ripeness and yearns to dream the way she did, before the pain, whatever the pain is.

Jeff Hobbes just twittered this: “If years of playing Zelda have taught me anything, it’s that sometimes you have to use the ice staff to build a bridge to the wizard’s key” and I spent 7 minutes pondering it because I thought he meant Zelda Fitzgerald and I wondered if he was making a joke about being crazy and the ice staff and wizard’s key were impossible-to-disentangle metaphors of till I googled “playing Zelda” and found out it is a video game. Oh, the hypotheses I formulated, amoebic and bizarre, over what playing Zelda Fitzgerald could mean, and might entail. I hope i dream of this. Jeff Hobbs posts comments under his real name  – if Jeff Hobbs is in fact his real name – on MassLive, a dangero0us and scary place to share an opinion, and he escape unscathed. At least he must be unscathed, for he just twittered the tweet which had me so confused, staring somewhat trance-like at my screen, and pondering what it would be like to “play Zelda” in life. I am still pondering that.

The ice staff could be the defenses one builds to run block in one’s world of insane and brilliant people; the bridge could be an omniscience or epiphany; the wizard’s key might perhaps be some sort of insight into life that leads to eternal happiness and peace. that’s my rough-draft hypothesis. In a few hours i could perfect it but then i might wonder if i was losing a grasp – if I have one – on reality, whatever that actually is.

It must be the medicinal tea.

I vow to use less words in hopes of more effectively communicating all that I am not capable of, in the hopes that my absence is not so misconstrued as indifference or lack of desire. I vow to not hear the critics – though they are silent – and to not acknowledge their credibility – though they are me –  and be silent yet verbose.

And no matter how many times I dial KLM Airlines I get the “Due to larger than average call volume…” message which goes nowhere, does not even offer “hold”, and holds no promise of human contact and the chance to plead my case for a slight, possibly paid, accommodation or upgrade so I might manage this flight and enjoy this trip, like a normal person. I realize as I type that I very often now use the phrase in my head, “like a normal person”, when assessing things I might do, or failing to be able to do simple things, of which I used to be so easily able.  Like take a long walk.

I tweet about LKM because this is a tip I received from a seasoned traveler.

I think it’s the medicinal tea and the weather and the fact that I read in the little free paper that I find in my antique-y letterbox – with no discernible regularity – that this town has a population of 16,000; I find that reassuring and I feel lighter, more confident of my random and possible overuse of semicolons and em dashes because that’s how the heroines think.

I wish wordpress would make actual em dashes.

I have a degenerative spinal disease. A full 5 out of 7 cervical vertebrae are herniated; two of my lumbar vertebrae are herniated (L1 and L3). The pain is bad and always there. The meds take the edge off but still  – though I push myself further each day, to do more and break boundaries, I still am exhausted and in pain. The spamming muscles spasm non-stop like a fanatic on a treadmill, getting ready for a prom or high school reunion five weeks hence, perhaps, and that causes exhaustion. the meds help me move and sit up and walk but they cause exhaustion.

I am going away for two weeks. I’d like to go away for a fortnight. Am I? Do we know the length of a fortnight? I am tired of googling things today. The pain is exhausting.

Then I’d like to go away for a minibreak. And go “on holiday”. That’s what I’ll do! I am doing that. Syntax is scintillating. I love such words.

But I can still a heroine. The weather helps because it changes everything. This trip I prepare for makes me feel adventurous, like a heroine; to go off to stay with strangers in Geneva and Sant Feliu on a trip paid  for by the donation of frequent flier miles. It is possible that in some meaning of this trip, I won a lottery. I believe that. Maybe all I need is my mind and my peaceful apartment which brings me so much aesthetic pleasure and in which things are so thoughtfully placed; things bought decades ago, things found on loading docks and streets and in attacks and thrift shops; the one new table at counter height which centers my large kitchen which often makes me think I live in a foreign film, all of it, and the freedom to punctuate as I choose – for which I credit Tao Lin and Miranda July – all of it makes this day feel like no other.

KLM still will not take my call.

One Response to “Calling KLM Airlines- Check that, Calling Air Canada”

  1. I was reading about epiphany yesterday. This is from Writing Fiction, by Janet Burroway, “James Joyce developed a similar idea when he spoke of, and recorded in his storied, moments of what he called epiphany. As Joyce saw it, epiphany is a crisis action in the mind, a moment when a person, an event, or a thing is seen in a light so new that it is as if it has never been seen before. At this recognition, the mental landscape of the veiwer is permanently changed.”

    She goes on to say, “the true territory of the struggle is the main character’s mind, so the real crisis action must occur there”…and that the word epiphany means, “a manifestation of a supernatural being” In other words, something has to happen. As Ms. Burroway says, “The slipper must fit.”

    P.S. the medicinal tea is the ice staff.

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