There’s no way to do this that isn’t hard. You’re having to anticipate every need, the weather, whims you might have, past mistakes, who you want to be out there. I felt pretty good about this pack. (Later I would discover I had forgotten my pajamas. I had to sleep in a skirt on this trip.)
I took Uber X to the airport a few weeks ago and the driver got so caught up in telling me about his (other) career that he missed the freeway change. We ended up way out on the 605 and there was tremendous traffic just trying to get back to the right freeway. I was scared I would miss my flight and this guy was not a sympathetic figure, arrogant little prick. Nonetheless I used Uber X again; it worked out perfectly fine this time.
I always opt out of the x-ray and request a pat down. Usually I’m the only one doing this, but once a man was doing it too and he casually mentioned that he worked for a company — some kind of radiation regulatory company. Anyway, he said to always opt out. My reasons are two-fold: less cancer and a nice intimate moment with (usually) a woman of color who would never normally be touching my breast, buttocks or the insides of my legs. There’s nothing I don’t like about it. I often am stirred to return the favor and offer to touch her back, but obviously I don’t.
Here I pee, hovering because there is someone else’s pee on the seat.
I’ve landed and met a man holding a sign that says “July”. His name is John. I make a big show of lugging an older woman’s suitcase off the carousel for her; she thanks me many times and I say that’s ok, I like to show off. John took this picture.
The room is big and there are two bathrooms but neither of them have tubs. This is one of very few requests on my tech rider: “a quiet room far from the elevator with a bathtub” so I feel put out for a moment. It’s not like I’m asking for peeled grapes here. Just like to relax my muscles after the show. I turn the thermostat up to 76 degrees and get to work on the proposal I was supposed to write on the plane. I watched “Singles” instead.
About 25 minutes before show time. I’m nervous and can hear the house filling up through the backstage speakers. I do a meditation thing and get real calm. I stand in the wings and the crew guy named Doug whispers “lights at half”, “lights down”, then a spotlight appears and he says “you’re on.” I step out into the circle of light and it’s the greatest feeling in the world.
I performed New Society two nights in a row. The first night was great, the second night was Halloween which confused things a little. I’ll never do it again on Halloween. Or Christmas for that matter. All in all it was wonderful; I love the Walker and this theater.
Saying goodbye to some guys I met in the hotel. They were in the room next door. It was crazy how BIG they were. We played a game where I sat in each of their laps and tried to guess which of them weighed more. From sitting in their laps.
Back the airport. It was early. I’m sure I had thoughts.
Flight is delayed. I spent a long time in the gift shop, occasionally straightening things or improving the way they were displayed. When I went to pay for my tiny replica of a Delta plane, the cashier asked if I worked there and offered me the employee discount. When I said I actually didn’t work there (I mean would I be carrying a rolly bag if I worked there?) he became suspicious. Rightly so. Suspicion is the correct feeling to have about me.
Miranda July is a writer, filmmaker and artist living in Los Angeles.
Her most recent book is The First Bad Man.
Miranda is carrying the Lips Tote in Black. Available here.