Traveling with Lucy the WonderCat has been an adventure. I’m sure she’ll tell you all about it when she gets her typewriter back. Anyway, as a loyal JetBluer, I went out to get the “Jet Paws” pet carrier in accordance with their specs. Unfortunately, Lucy’s, er, dimensions, did not do well with their compact design. I returned it to PetCo and ended up with the perfect product: the Cesar Millan “Dog Whisperer” model. Lots of room for my full-figured grey puff to relax in, although it was a little unwieldy and not easy to cram under the seat in front. Still, it has a Jonathan Adler thing going that appeals to the fashionable cat owner.
For those of you not familiar with Dulles, you land and then walk downstairs to this people-mover that takes you to baggage and ground transpo. This was a perilous journey for your jetlagged friend Emily and her sidekick, because I basically had to cradle the carrier in front of my face in order to prevent people from bumping Lucy around. Down some stairs and escalators we went, carefully, carefully. We arrived just as the tram was pulling in: the home stretch! Soon Lucy would be snoozing in the sunny front seat of the rental car and I could relax on the hourlong journey to the southern suburbs of Baltimore.
OK, so you know those tiny backpacks on wheels they sell for kids so they feel all grown up because they have luggage like mommy? Well, this little kid was towing one of them behind him and the combination of my blind Lucy carrying and his diminutive stature led to an exciting stumble/fall/people-mover zesty moment. Basically, my foot went right between the rails of his mini SpiderMan suitcase at the exact moment I boarded the tram, which was 5 seconds from departing. He kept walking and pulled my leg right out from underneath me.
Horrified at the prospect of a falling cat, my fellow people-movees tried to keep me upright by randomly grabbing at my flailing appendages but only managed to make me fall in 5 awkward mini slips instead of one good good thunk. It was an auspicious start to my move. In stark contrast with West Coast etiquette, after I had regained what was left of my composure, people refused to look at me because they were so embarrassed. In LA, people would have either watched me fall for their own amusement or made a really big show of pretending to care because it would make them look cool to the casting directors they imagine are around every corner.
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that the past two weeks have been interesting out here. I found velociraptors in the bathroom, have been brought to the brink of litigation with my moving company, and am starting to question whether I’ll be able to rest in a bed ever again now that I have fully explored floor sleeping.
I am well used to observers shaking their heads at my designs on life and have turned into a connoisseur of the unknown. I have been asked what the hell I think am doing by more than a few people on both ends of this journey. You can’t blame them for not having lived the past 30something years looking through my eyes, and although I literally fell upon my ass on arrival, my direction here is sure-footed and swift. It does not resemble the path of other very successful people because my success has never come from following, and I tend to define my accomplishments primarily in terms of how much they contribute to a happy life.
So when people in your life look at your efforts on the cello, the cockpit, or the pottery wheel and wonder what the hell you could be thinking and how you intend to succeed, try to remember that their presence is a gift. How else do you test your mettle? How would we otherwise distinguish between “us” and “them”? It is in not needing to justify your path to anyone at all that you justify these things to yourself and steel your resolve: with a silent smile, from the floor, after you’ve fallen down in public.