Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yellow Boxer

Tonight's drink is a Yellow Boxer, a Tequila Tiki from the inimitable Beachbum Berry's Intoxica. The drink is from the Hemingway Tropical Bar, Cologne, Germany, ca 1981.

What's a Yellow Boxer ... I think, of course, of the Boxer Rebellion ... but perhaps it refers to a hepatitic pugilist ... not a nice thought when one consoles one's evenings with a cocktail and glass of wine.

But none of that matters because my luggage, possibly diverted to Johannesburg per my immediately preceding post, appears to be on a delivery truck that at this very moment is approaching the house in which I sit and tipple and write. I want my bag! I want it right now ... but I may have to wait until 10.

I approached this third-in-three-flights delayed baggage experience with as much aplomb and calm as I could muster ... yes, United has lost my luggage on three consecutive flights. No point in raging. With reference to that and the second of the three mislaying flights ... when it became apparent on arrival in Ottawa 10 or so days ago that the entire assembly of steerage class luggage had been left behind in the ill-fated Washington-Dulles airport, a female businessperson decided to unload on the poor United Airlines shill whose job it was to hand out the baggage forms. Venting, they call it. There was a line of 15 people waiting to meet the hapless employee .. so I shouted out that her venting was wasting my time. I'm loud that way. She persisted, so I repeated my complaint, somewhat louder and rather more peeved. She took the hint.

BTW, that hapless employee was the one and same who 6 days later put the wrong name and the wrong itinerary on my baggage. Coincidence? ... who knows? I am chastened, though, and will re-affirm my commitment to not yelling at imbeciles in public. At least not at imbeciles who might have a gun.


Losing a bag, losing anything, unleashes two not-precisely-contradictory but certainly-not-intertwined emotions ... the fear inherent in being revealed as vulnerable and the unease of a too quick resignation to fate. Fear and fate. I fear that something worse might happen but rely on fate to get me through. I am fated to have lost the bags, but I fear that it was my fault ... yes, I should have looked at the tag, but the bastards were the ones who screwed it up. So I am confused rather than enraged.

And of course, there is the amputation of all the old things ... I pretty much only have old things, electronics aside, because that is the way I am. I lost ... or might have lost or would have lost, but let's just go with the past tense as if it happened since that is the emotional complex I am trying to evoke. So there is the red Land's End toiletries bag that I purloined from the second of my three lovers and with which I have been traveling for almost two decades. There is my old Swiss Army Knife. And the brown belt that is worn and I have been wearing since the early 90s ... I miss that guy. I lost a pair of black shoes and a brown belt, so I am left with brown shoes and a black belt ... two black belts, but one too wide for work wear ... o the horror, the fashion nightmare. My man purse I bought for the Paris trip in 2006 and the yellow Goretex I bought for the London trip in 2004. All gone. Well, maybe not.

I lost three books that I have just read, and that is annoying since I very much prefer to own books. I lost a video camera ... DV type, under 300 bucks. But more to the point, I lost a one-hour tape of my sister and brother playing guitars and singing. I lost two favorite T-shirts ... one old, one new. And socks and underwear. For the shopping-challenged, socks and underwear are a nightmare. I never know what to buy, where to buy it. I always figure I am making a stupid choice, and so I end up making a stupid choice. I have dozens of pairs of useless socks, but barely enough underwear to get through a week. Now, I am down a couple of quarts as a result of that fool in the Ottawa airport who sent my bags to Johannesburg.

Or did he? We are waiting to find out.

The bag arrived at 20:41! Yeah.

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