America Day 43 – In the air

We’re off to California. San Jose. It’s not on my bucket list, but Annapolis was a pleasant surprise and I’m ready for more sunshine so I’m glad to be heading west. By all accounts it’s bucketing with rain in the UK. I’m not looking forward to coming back to winter. Still, I’m on the road for another month…

The only downside of Annapolis was that we were there on boat show weekend. The place was heaving and most likely everything was marked up as well – and so slow. It took two hours for food to come from the Indian restaurant just two minutes drive from our hotel. And everybody opened conversation with “Are you here for the boat show?” with the disinterested interest of the flooded local.

It seems that the way to San Jose is by direct flight from Baltimore, which is a relief as it’s a long old way to go and a transfer makes it the much more worrisome when you’ve got an accordion that positively has to fit into the overhead locker. Thus far I’ve got it on every flight, no small thanks to the alacrity with which Jono the travel monitor checks us in online the day before.

Right now we are flying over the corner in the map that intersects Nebraska with Kansas and Colorado. The ground below is barely populated but split into strange circles of brown earth. I can’t tell from here what crop might just have been harvested, or why they’re done in circles, but they stretch out as far as the eye can see as though the Gods had dropped a load of tiddlywinks. It seems so unnatural to divide a huge nation up into geometric shapes. Box upon box, grid upon grid, and then these circles inside squares. I like organic places that flow with the landscape. It speaks too much of arrogance to just blast through it and the sheer lack of corners must make long distance driving pretty hateful. And we are at our best when we incorporate and exist alongside nature, not when we sanitise everything and whip it into familiar patterns. No wonder the planet is starting to hate us.

They’re still passing by below, these weird boxed circles with an occasional settlement breaking them up. I get the sense it’s pretty sparsely populated down there. We’ll be over Colorado before long so I’ll get a sneak preview of the Rockies.

Thankfully the person in front of me on this flight doesn’t hate me like the last one. I’ve been able to relax. I watched an unusual Wim Wenders movie with Mel Gibson sending himself up brilliantly and Milla Jovovitch being beautiful and strange. Million Dollar Hotel. Last night I ambitiously downloaded nothing but obscure movies which was a great idea, sure, but perhaps I’d sooner have had lined up the Breaking Bad movie or something a bit less thoughtful now that I’m actually in the air. Still, I’m going to delve into “Moka” now, by Frederic Mermoud.

Moka was great. I’m glad to be back on Mubi, they do have great movies. Now I’m watching the desert part to squares of green as we begin our descent to San Jose. I’ve done no research whatsover about this town. I’m curious to see what we find.



Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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