In the air but not quite: a stalled plane on a runway east of Toronto….Exhausted, and not only because I got up at 4:30 a.m.
In the airport, I stood in four different lines each one averaging 15 minutes. Air Canada staff were surly without exception, but the U.S. Customs Dude was a sinister yet gracious man indeed.
What. Will. You. Do. In San Francisco. he asked without looking up from my new passport which features a grim photo of me resembling the mug shot of a Weather Underground insurgent.
I squared my limp, tired shoulders and told him I’m an author; I’ll be promoting my book in the Bay Area.
The sweetest of smiles unfolded across Custom Dude’s pale rotund face. Why that’s wonderful he said. Art. Creativity. We like to see that he said. (We do?)
As. Long. As. You. Don’t. Murder. Anyone. He added.
Turns out he’s an Anne Perry fan, the mystery writer who killed her best friend’s mom. Check out the film Heavenly Creatures for full grisly details, beautifully told.
I assured Customs Dude that homicide (or is it matricide?) is not on my to-do list for the Bay area. I’ve got far too many restaurants, taquerias, farmer’s markets, pastry shops and ice cream venues to check out.
(Oh yeah, and then there’s the book).
And with that, I hurried away before he could change his mind.