far too much writing, far too many photos

Yesterday morning: woke up early, something that sometimes happens the morning of a big travel day. Real damn early in this case, the kind of early that provokes half-awake mumbled complaints. My eyes opened, the bedside clock’s readout read 3:54. Pulled myself out from under nice warm covers, made the stumble to the loo to dump the ballast. Returned to the bedroom, resumed horizontal position. Pretended to sleep, hoping I’d fool my bod into drifting off. No dice.

Seven hours later, I stood at the end of the driveway in Montpelier (where my car will hang out until my return) waiting for a taxi. Enjoying sunlight filtering down through clouds, temperature in the 30’s. Somewhere off in the neighborhood, a cardinal sang. A hopeful sound, promising imminent spring. (It better be imminent or one of these wintry mornings that cardinal and his cheery compatriots will be found frozen to the ground.)

At the bus stop, a couple got out of a car, clearly country folk. Him: a big bear of a guy with an imposing belly, a gold stud in one ear, longish brown hair, a salt and pepper beard, dark glasses, thick hands that always seemed to be in motion. Compared to him, the woman — smaller, quieter, with thick features, looking like a person from the back country — almost seemed to disappear. They pulled one suitcase after another from the car, each one progressively bigger. Moving to South Carolina, they said, making the shift by bus. One of their bags was a cooler, they brought it onboard. Once seated, he pulled out a can of Mountain Dew, took pulls from it, every now and then a drop of liquid fell from his beard to his stomach bulge.

My first seat companion: a college-age woman, plugged into a personal CD player. Didn’t talk, just listened to tunes, drifting in and out of sleep.

The bus headed south, the austere late winter/early spring beauty of Vermont all around, fields and forested land riding the curves of rolling land. Fifteen, twenty minutes south of Montpelier, all snow pretty much vanished, the landscape a combination of the silver and gray of bare trees, the light brown of dormant grass, the green of fir trees. Above it all, dilute sunlight filtered through patchy clouds, blue sky. The only real snow/ice were the frozen cascades of water stretching down the faces of rock outcroppings.


T-shirt seen in Heathrow airport early this morning, worn by a portly gent:
Do you want to ride my FAT BODY?

EspaƱa, te echo de menos.

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