Friday, August 1, 2008

I Don't Want To Be Here

It is hot. I am in New York. I do not want to be in New York. I am therefore annoyed.

I'll tell you where I want to be. There is a little tiny medieval fishing village on the edge of Lake Geneva, half an hour from Geneva, Switzerland, just over the border in France, and that's where I feel like being right this instant.

The town is called Yvoire, and it happens to contain my husband's family home. No, nobody in the family is French - it's just that my mother and father-in-law bought the place when they were both working in Geneva in 1949, and because they were a foreign service family, it became the one place, over the years, where everyone got together. Our house has the distinction of having had the first flush toilet in the village. My in-laws actually had a party to show the village how it worked. And it's still there, right under the front steps to the house - full of spiders, usually, but there, and very useful if you have been bouncing about the village and suddenly feel you really, REALLY don't want to have to climb up not only the front steps but to the second floor to take a leak. You know, handy. I love Yvoire.

I want to go to Yvoire and do nothing. Eat and sleep and read and swim in the lake and then eat and read and sleep some more.

Well, think about it. The only form of travel I have been able to afford recently is a bus trip to see the East Coast family (this leaves out my sister and brother-in-law in Boulder, Colorado, and it CERTAINLY leaves out my sister and brother-in-law in China - luckily, I have two more sets, one in Maryland and one in Cambridge, Mass.).

However, after the news of today, I can ASSURE you I'm never getting on a bus again. I have decided that the most traveling I'm going to be doing is going all the way uptown (WAY uptown) to the Cloisters to see my friends John and Larry in Hamlet.

Beheaded on a bus. Was that not the absolutely strangest thing ever? If you have somehow missed this juicy little item, a 21 one year old man was going from Moose Jaw to Bumfuck or some damn where in Canada (even though I've been to Toronto, and would love to see Montreal, that's about it on my knowledge of Canada), when one of his fellow passengers sat down next to him and proceeded to stab him about fifty times and then behead him. As far as anybody knows, they had never met. And the passengers on the bus, all of whom got the hell off the bus in one fast hurry, all say that the stabber/decapitator showed no emotion whatsoever while doing this - no frenzy, no nothing. After they all got off the bus, leaving the perpetrator and victim on it, the guy grabbed the head of his victim and started shaking it at them through the bus door.

The newspaper/internet stories on this today, predictably, announce that the gent who did this is "going to be psychiatrically evaluated." Well, how nice. What a clever thought. Much as I applaud our justice system, there are days when it annoys me. (Actually, the Canadian taxpayers get to pay for this one, so I suppose I really don't have a say in it.) But it always seems to me a bit odd when you have 20 witnesses, all of whom agree, AND a videotape, AND the victim's sworn statement - and then the whole thing takes three years to come to trial. Surely there's an easier and less expensive way? God knows, no one is happier than I am to see a prisoner released when they finally bring DNA evidence to bear on the case, for instance - but in cases where there is no element of doubt whatsoever, surely things could be speeded up. On the other hand, I've never been accused of a crime, and many psychological experiments have been done to prove beyond any possible doubt that people are not always capable of seeing what they're looking at. So God bless the judicial system - it's the best we've got, surely.

That does not alter the fact that I have no intention of ever, EVER getting on a Greyhound bus again. I presume this feeling will go away - after all, it only took me seven years to take a shower again after seeing Psycho.

Love, Wendy

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