Mon, 12 Apr 2010 16:04:51 -0400
Rising quickly from rainy San Francisco (I wore my new bright turquoise galoshes to yoga and back yesterday morning, walking deliberately through flowing curbside puddles) to 33,000 feet, the familiar feeling of rarefied cabin pressure that I associate with the first gin-n-tonic of a flight comes over me: Kindle with my latest novel; the well-being glow from a Styrofoam cup of coffee; iPod in my ears as if I were simply on the shuttle to work. I sort of am: on a 6-hour shuttle, as it were, to the New York office, complete with wireless (I'm closing bugs, approving changelists, and minding logs, all from seat 17B). Something about the oxygen levels up here always drifts me into a mild Mona Lisa state -- despite having been bumped to standby on a later flight than I'd intended, my own fault for insistence on being able to bring enough shampoo for a week plus arriving at SFO too late to check a bag -- I'm en route, and will even make my dinner reservation in the West Village tonight.
This elevated glow isn't pure Bernoulli, jetfuel, and reheated coffee: Our Duruflé Requiem yesterday in St. Ignatius (who knew there was a Baroque basilica right in the middle of the city?) floated, better than the dress rehearsal had promised, cupolawards. Libera me Domine de morte aeterna, the 22-year-old ringer tenor standing next to me sang lustily in unison with the altos, and I could have grabbed him by his orange half-Windsor and kissed him right there for our shared low F. (Decorum, alas, won out.) Roommates, friends, coworkers came ("I forgot you had a superpower," said Trisha afterwards); we drank leftover mimosa-grade champagne back home from stemware I do not hate, a fire in the grate.
Also, for the first time in perhaps over a quarter, I've been getting enough sleep. Forcibly so -- as soon as my exhausted Q1 finished, my body went on strike, successfully demanding a contract with 8 hours' sleep a night, no work on weekends, and a signing bonus of 16 hours for the first three days. Though I harbor despotic plans of slowly eroding its gains while its back is turned, I must admit that, in the ensuing week or so, I've felt shockingly good. Maybe it's onto something.
Somewhere over Michigan, my novel beckons. New York tonight.