stretched out time


weirdly nice to be waiting in the Abu Dhabi airport. kids are just as loud in any language and people are just as restless as anywhere else. the call to prayer just BLASTED through the entire place while my body digests plan B (banned in the Emirates, because it counts as abortion here). it's still rona times but some of the women walking around don't need masks; they're already entirely covered up in burkas. since I'm here I attempted to find a semblance of local food, but the best options are mcd's and brioche dorée so I'm just chugging a cafe au lait. it feels like paris because we are right next to the smoking section (which for me is a good thing; even as a kid i always loved the smell of cigarettes.) i'm still a minority, but the majority isn't white. the other east asians i see are more interesting to think about; they could be going home to kuwait city or kuala lumpur or bangkok or HCM city or nairobi or cape town. a lot of the custodial staff and customer service people seem to be south asian. a short wikipedia search confirms that there are lots of south asians working in the emirates. google shows up in right-to-left script, even though my computer's in english. in calvino's 'invisible cities,' marco polo relates all the cities and places he has seen in his travels to kublai khan. it's a short book full of vivid descriptions of fabulous, fantastical cities of a vaguely orientalist/silk road flavor, the kinds you'd read as a kid in fantasy YA novels: harbors of pink sandstone and sapphire-encrusted streets and all that. the cities all have vaguely feminized names like dorothea and zamira and eutropia and isidora. snippets of conversation between marco and the khan intersperse these urban descriptions, none of which are more than 1-2 pages, some as short as a paragraph, and it's just nice to lose yourself in easy, beautiful words. there is one point at which kublai points out that marco has never actually described his own hometown; Polo says, "Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice." as the book progresses, anachronistic modern elements trickle into the writing; Polo and Calvino's voices merge. there's a city, Trude, that's pretty much just the postmodern experience of going to the airport: staying at the traveler's lodge, the city-to-airport transit experience through monotonous suburbs, seeing the same signs and stores. "If on arriving at Trude I had not read the city's name written in big letters, I would have thought I was landing at the same airport from which I had taken off." i am clicking around the time zone map on apple settings and it is so wild around the arabian peninsula/turkey/Caucasus area. iraq seems to have its own time zone (it's 916 here and 945 there? but the emirates are further east?). the emirates share a time zone with oman and the eastern tip of the peninsula but not the rest of it, they also share a time zone with certain parts of russia east of moscow. turkmenistan and pakistan share a time zone (1016pm) but afghanistan, which lies between them, is separate (946pm). even time is somehow subject to historical and political constructions. or maybe, more accurately, the long-haul airport experience is extraordinarily successful at making me feel like time is arbitrary. as a result my weekend feels like it's getting stretched out like crazy. logically i suppose the travel time is 20 hours or so, but it feels like 5 days. A big part of it is that N came down to new york and even though I logged into work on friday it felt like the weekend started at 2am on friday when he arrived. for the ensuing 36 hours it was a very lazy chill time. at one point we went to greenpoint because I needed to get a gift at the cookbook store; there was an attached overpriced grocery next door so we bought this weirdly thick italian peach juice and sat outside because it was a relatively un-humid july day and were just pleasantly vibing as friends. actually we were vibing so hard that i forgot to go home in time for a meeting, so I took it from outside and pretended my wifi was dead. on saturday, without any obligations, we pretty much only emerged from my room to get food; barely slept, just took short naps that were just interspersed by fucking or talking. at the beginning of this week i was so anxious about 'what is this' and 'what are we' and now i do not care at all because i am just enjoying the process and i trust him as a friend to know that it will all be fine. i heard the term 'relationship anarchy' for the first time this weekend and i really like the idea of it, maybe not in general but for whatever tf this thing with N is, I like it. i remember in neon genesis evangelion that Misato and Ryoji, in their past as lovers, were said to have spent an entire week in bed: didn't leave the room, didn't go to class, skipped dates with friends. maybe they had the occasional cup ramen or power bar lol. I thought at the time of watching that this was just another instance of the kind of exaggerated quasi-freudian imagery that NGE likes to do, which is more for thematic exploration rather than a reflection of reality. but after this past weekend i think it actually could be achievable. my new goal in life is to get to the point where you are so immersed and nasty with someone that you can power your way through a week of p much just fucking and sleeping and not even realize it.