Monday, April 04, 2005

Vancouver rain

Wow. Overload. That's really what AWP is about. From the seven zillion readings and panels to the cascade of books, AWP seems designed to overwhelm. But I love the experience. This was my third time going and in some ways most special. Meeting many of you was fantastic. I feel like Victoria Chang and her husband Todd are old friends already. Aimee Nez was marvellous and sweet. Jennifer Thornton, we should hang out in hotel lobbies more often. Jeanine Gailey and Shanna Compton are too cute. Kelli Agodon? She mugged me. Knocked me over the head and stole one of my books then ran away. Met Josh Corey, too, who was way cool. Oliver del la Paz. C. Dale. Ali Stine, who is really sweet and cute. Who else? I may be leaving out a blogger or two. If I am, apologies! It's hard to recall everyone.

And so today is Monday. Maybe you're wondering why I'm behind most of the other bloggers in posting my thoughts. Maybe you're not. But I'll tell you, anyway.

The trip back was nightmarish. I flew out of Vancouver at 8:20 Sunday morning for the very long flight to Toronto. We were on a 330 AirBus, an amazing, immense vehicle, the biggest plane I've been on. Behind me sat the editor of Another Chicago Magazine; I fought the urge to turn around and say thanks for publishing a couple of poems from a few years ago. Nearing Toronto, the weather turned nasty: high winds, rain and snow. We circled over Toronto for 45 minutes before landing. On the ground, it took a long while for Air Canada's people to help me out of my seat and into the aisle chair. In case you've never seen one, it's like riding your wallet through a mail slot in a door. They then pushed me towards the next terminal but the elevator was broken. So I had to walk this huge distance back towards the shuttle center, be driven around the other side of the airport, and finally transferred on to the plane.

On the plane now, I asked the flight attendant to be sure my chair was being loaded on to the plane. Oh yes, she said. That's what they just told me. She gave me a too-cheery thumbs up. Everyone was boarded but the plane did not move. We waited. And waited. Followed by an extra dose of waiting. The pilot announced that they were loading a final piece of luggage and would be leaving in no more than five minutes. Those five minutes came and went. Another attendant came back to me. He asked if I could describe my wheelchair for him. That sinking sensation began....


Suzanne said...


I am so jealous that everyone got to meet you in the immortal words of Blondie, ' the flesh.'

I am so very sorry that you had such a nightmarish trip home! XO

S. Lelia said...

Hi Paul. Our pile of coincidences didn't stack up high enough for me to say bye to you. So (at once) bye-- and hello.