28 April 2008...11:13 am

Another County Heard From

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I have been away for a very long time! When I wasn’t attending the party of the century, I was writing a thesis. I picked up the bound copies on Saturday and rubbed my face all over them in the print store I loved them so much. I will write about the thesis, the fun parts, and I will also shortly return to posting images of my stunning friends our debonair hedonism and the gorgeous soundtrack thereto.

Fleet Foxes_Ragged Wood

We were all coming back East after Christmas and there was a woman on the plane who my sister Hannah hated but I couldn’t remember why. The woman was sitting right in front of us and in front of her was a family swarming with children

Hannah I said they have children literally coming out of their ears. I think there are five.

Hannah told me there were four. The family-of six-had only purchased five seats for its four very small and two normal to large sized members. They took up the three seats to the left of the aisle and two of the seats to the right. The sixth seat in the row was occupied by the male traveling companion of the woman Hannah hated.

Judith! he said a few times you can come sit up here!

Yes, said the mother of the beautiful and brimming family, the children are so small we will only need four of these seats.

Fleet Foxes_Drops in the River

Each time this exchange occurred Judith declined the offer. Judith along with the rest of us behind the family spent a good part of the flight making faces at the blond baby sitting his mother’s lap.

He looks like Steve Martin, she told the baby’s mother.

What. The woman grew tense.

There’s just something about him the sparkle in his eyes.

I thought Judith was right and I thought that it was funny so I repeated the conversation to Hannah. Hannah didn’t pay attention to the substance of my story because it is admittedly weird to say that a baby looks like Steve Martin but she did pay attention when I told her I’d learned Judith’s name.

Jewess? she hissed.

I wasn’t sure what Hannah had said but I thought it was something that didn’t bear repeating.

Judith! I repeated into Hannah’s shoulder.

Hannah was laughing very hard and I really didn’t want Judith to know what she was laughing about.

Judith! I grunted to the air behind me.

Hannah finally got it.

Do you know what I thought you were saying?!

I didn’t want to tell her what I thought she’d thought I was saying so I made some hemming noises and laughed too. I hoped to confuse her into explaining.

A character in the Bible? In the New Testament? Hannah was thrilled by our misunderstanding so she made her mouth very big around each syllable.

Judas? Oh. I felt hugely relieved.

Later when I was making the quick decision to leave my family to their cab at Newark Airport I asked Judith’s traveling companion how much the express bus to midtown cost.

Well he whined I think it’s like fourteen dollars but you know it’s cheaper than a cab.

Totally. I said even though my only compunction was about whether I should get into the cab my parents were paying for or not.

On the bus ride back to Manhattan Judith and her man friend were sitting two rows behind me. I heard every word he was saying most of the time that word was intolerable.

It’s the waiting that is just intolerable!

This traffic! It’s intolerable!

His daughter Sarah called him she was outside of his apartment in Chelsea with a lot of luggage and no key.

Sarah! I’m not even in the tunnel yet the driver is intolerable! Vita-Dent isn’t open?

He wanted Sarah to get into the apartment by knocking on the door of the dentist’s office on the first floor of his building. It was seven thirty on a holiday Saturday the idea that a dentist would be working was ridiculous.

Just stay calm Judith kept telling him you should stay at my house.

I can’t! He was outraged. My daughter is here!

Well said Judith she should stay too. You don’t have a key either how will you get in?

This issue was never resolved.

Tonight is my one night with my daughter and I’m missing dinner with her she’s waiting for me outside!

Well apparently not Judith said helpfully apparently she has other plans.

She did. Sarah was worried her father would be so late as to mess up the rest of her evening visiting New York friends. He found this intolerable.

Judith was getting off the bus at Bryant Park and her man friend was getting off first at Port Authority.

Well he said after the bus had stopped on Forty-first and Ninth I’m sorry babe.

Babe? I thought.

I’m sorry I’m so tense it’s my only night with Sarah.

Judith told him she understood.

And thank you babe thank you for taking me along on your trip and for being so understanding.

They kissed on the cheek. He got of the bus and I glared at him and then I glared extra hard after his wallet jabbed me in the shoulder. He paused near the door of the bus.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year Judith said back.

I wanted to say Judy you can do better but I didn’t because everyone on the bus already knew Judy could do better and that was probably enough.

Later I call Hannah.

Judas was on my bus! Why did you hate her again?

Hannah is still angry but then she laughs.

I hated her because she picked her nose!

I remember Hannah saying this on the plane and I once again refrain from mentioning that I too sometimes pick my nose.

She kept annoying the baby when he and I were trying to play peek-a-boo! And her man friend he smelt he smelt so bad.

A grown up? Smelt? I acknowledge that grown-ups should have had enough time to learn how to manage their body odors. Hannah is not done.

Well and they were making out in the aisle of the airplane right next to you when you were sleeping and the flight attendant couldn’t get around them to give someone their drink!

They were making out? I ask.

What? Hannah asks. What’s wrong?

Fleet Foxes_Oliver James

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