first text from Paris

October 1.

I must say I am a little reluctant to even begin this writing, fearing I will get all long-winded and go on and on, when what I want to do is briefly sketch the events of yesterday, which in this darkness before dawn, are already becoming day-before yesterday.

Monday, early, a few minutes after six a.m., I took a taxi from home to the old Santa Fe train station, downtown. At seven I was permitted to board the Pacific Surfliner, bound for Los Angeles. It was an uneventful ride. I dozed a bit. Drank three cups of coffee and one apple/grape juice and ate two sweet rolls.

At L.A. union station, I caught the bus to the airport. After a bit of congestion leaving downtown, we fairly flew along the highway via express/carpool lanes, before getting into slow traffic again at the airport. Checked in three hours early (four hours before my flight was scheduled to depart). Passed through security rather uneventfully, and then spent a while checking out the new Tom Bradley international terminal. Went up onto one of the upper floors to see if I could buy admittance to the lounge I had read I might be permitted to enter. No. No, sir. Sorry. Good bye.

Eventually, back down on the main floor, I settled down to a rather delicious salad and glass of wine, sitting at a small place looking out over the air field in front of the terminal. I saw one or two big planes slowly crawl past toward their gates. There were also electric plugs there, so I was able to transfer the video footage I had shot earlier on the train and bus, scan through it, and even upload one or two pieces to yutub, thanks to the airport wifi.

About an hour before our scheduled boarding time, I wandered off toward our gate: 123, the farthest possible distance to the north, maybe half of a mile and two moving sidewalks and a lot of hiking with my backpack and coat (I had checked my one larger piece of baggage). Then I sat and waited. And waited. And waited some more. For the first time this day, I actually began to feel bored.

I did not know it, but it was a feeling that would disturb me later, many hours later, onboard the plane, half-way through the ten hour flight.


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