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Andy Falkous' Future Of The Left Tour Blog #1
The Quietus , October 12th, 2009 11:40

Future Of The Left's Andy Falkous writes his first Quietus tour blog. In part one, he battles aeroplane snacks and US immigration

In a way it is kinder of United Airlines, a help, a service, that they charge such an extortionate fee for alcoholic drinks on their flights. Truth be told, as the ghost of memory tickles his mark onto the window with a bloodied finger, it is a life-saver, a bridge between alcoholic states as much as cities and continents.

$6 is a lot of money for a Heineken. Heineken tastes like revenge.

He crosses his fingers when the snacks come. He wants trail mix. Pretzels remind him of bonsai trees, Karate Kid 3 and sad, depleted buffets, of tables groaning under the weight of cousin wood. After fourteen hours he is sick of the flight, the leg-space, the clucking cakeist who had reclined the chair into his face the second his maddeningly fat behind had hit the seat, the headache, the smell of ass and fat fear. He pulls on his eye-mask and dreams of an elsewhere. He dreams of a remote cabin attacked by rain and quiet, sure affection.

Some things never change. Love. Loss. Spanish imperialist ambitions. The calf-lengthening properties of high heels. Ambition. Fear of the future. As the passengers move around him, stirred by their bladders, he stares out of the window into the darkening mid-western sky and reminds himself to live in moments such as these rather than around them.

He had begun in the day in Oslo, juggling weight between cabin and hold baggage in a reassuring rhythm, folding t-shirts on the bed then forgetting and sitting on them. Heathrow had come and gone in a fury of familiar magazines and newspapers, all gladly gathered, and the Atlantic passed in the time that it took to wonder loudly at the puzzlingly long career of John Travolta, star of the in-flight movie in name and fee if little else.

Immigration at DC, though protracted, had been a peaceful, calming process. After three and a half weeks of bitter, salty touring there is a lot that can be said for having a suitcase taken from your hands and pulled apart by a stranger in a fruity uniform. Hell, it sure had put the whole laundry situation in its proper, immediate context and for that, at least, he was grateful.

He has learned over time that the correct answer to the question 'what does your band sound like?' when posed by a US border control officer is 'The Beatles'. At no point would he ever attempt to engage the agent in a discussion as to the relative benefits of post-punk in the modern era - in the unlikely event of them having heard of the Gang of Four chances are that it would be the Chinese Communist Faction of the Cultural Revolution that comes, rebidden, to their minds, and not the influential rock band from Leeds who first made their funny and brilliant sounds some thirty years ago.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we are beginning our descent to Los Angeles International …’. He closes his eyes and stays in the moment. Another journey has begun.

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