“You have the same eyes,” said the lady on the 787 Dream, somewhere south of Island on the long flight home.
The plane was cruising high above the clouds making its way to Canada. It entered through the Labrador, then followed the St Lawrence river, passed Montreal and finally hit the Toronto airport. And I know every moment of it, maybe 50 times by now. My little brother says it’s easier to fly up and down than square. And he knows, he is a pilot.
And I’ve been around too, you know, flown all over the globe.
And `Canada is home for me, nothing beats it.
“You know,” she said referring to my brother, “we flew together many times, he is the calmest pilot I ever met.”
And I thought: “he is the coolest guy I ever met.”
She looked at me as if waiting for an answer.
So I said: “he is the better looking brother.”
She took her time sizing me up.
So before all that, I spent a few days in Warsaw, and Warsaw is always good. The views, the history, restaurants, parks, people, you can’t beat that. There is nothing like this anywhere else.
I parked myself in a superb restaurant, had a light meal on the patio, a glass of a good wine under the sweet October sun.
Plus hey! It’s my native language. I can pick up all the nuances. And I am a storyteller and I can make people laugh, or at least interested.
There was a polish writer back in the day, Jerzy Kosinski, and he made it big in the US of A, and then he killed himself in his Manhattan apartment.
His demons came to close one evening.
Back in the day in Poland he would tell stories on a train and people would miss their stations just fascinated by what he was saying.
I am sure he was making most of it up, as I do. This is how art works, you steal from others but you add something to it.
Read his book “The painted bird”, it is something for the ages.
And I talk to people, “chat them up” is the expression. I can’t work the iphone for the life of me, but I can talk.
Then I had to leave Warsaw, with the covid scandal they want you to leave contact information exiting the plane in case of I don’t know what. Honestly I don’t.
I may have misspelled my name, I’m Michael Jackson now, I think that’s what I wrote. Also the last digits of my phone number may not be right – but hey, I had a big stroke a while ago and the right side of my body doesn’t function as it used to. My writing is bad and my mind wanders. More and more.
But I will follow the quarantine procedures down to a “t “.
I will do my part, just don’t want a clerk with a commanding voice calling me to check how I got my shopping done today.
I’ll be fine.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler