Wednesday, April 19, 2006

notes on a day without borders

Look outside. Ohhhhh, warm. A Mr.B kind of morning. I am at an appointment on the far west side. Hurry up, doc, I have to be at a Very Important Lunch with a Foreign Delegation at UW’s Grainger Hall (some 8 miles away) in an hour.

Doc looks at me and says: don’t forget to use sunscreen in Sicily. Here, let me google something for you
Tic toc tic toc. Hurry up doc.
She types in “best sunscreen in Europe…” here we go!
Hurry up, I need to fly like the wind… I’ll use your “Best in Europe” sunscreen, I swear.

I’m flying alright. Down Old Sauk hill, onto bike path. Oh, look at that, I am passing Borders. I need a Sicily map. Quick look: no such map here. Pedal pedal pedal. Oh, Whole Foods. One minute. One minute to pick up greens for supper. Oh, and apples. And strawberries. Ooops, that took three minutes. Okay, so I’m going to be late. The Very Important Lunch is at 11:45, I’ll be there by noon. Yeah.

At noon, I chain Mr.B to a rack and fly inside, bags dangling, hair flattened by helmet, pants still rolled up. Where the hell is this lunch? No, not in the deli on the third floor. Oh help! I call the secretary of the UW Very Important Administrator hosting it. Upstairs on the fifth.

I walk in, apologetically. Two dozen Very Important people and little me. Hmm. And they all speak French. No one has rolled up pants. Ah.

Introductions. I am the president of… I am the chair of… I am little me. Let me give myself a title: I am directing an exchange program in your country.

I listen to snippets of conversation: this is the chair of so and so (or president or director, head honcho, you get the picture) and is he ever a Francophile! But no, not true. I am a Francophile in that I go to France every year to eat. I speak the language of menu items.

Yes, France. And food and France. Certainment. Madame says: last night our entire group mostly spoke of food...

I look at the cheese slices and rolled up lunchmeats and wonder if they’ll be talking about food again after this meeting. I hope they’ll be talking about the chocolate dipped strawberries and not the rolled up lunchmeat slices.

Back on Mr. B now, another meeting to go to at 2, but hold on there, I need five minutes for a UBS latte. Oh, a UBS stop means I can look for a map. Bingo! Sicily in my bag. Computer under my elbow (needed for my next two meetings). Briefcase dangling on a strap. Helmet snapped onto purse, camera on another strap. Jacket under arm. Extra hot skim latte, no foam, between two fingers.

Why is my day so fragmented and without borders or boundaries?

Madison Apr 06
pre-dusk, from the loft