It Starts…

Let’s start a blog.

So here I am.  In my hotel room at the Hotel Kattenbusch in Ludenscheid, Germany.  It’s 12:45 AM and I have to be at work early tomorrow.  The only problem is that I flew in this morning, and with the jet lag it feels like, and should be, 4:45 pm.  Not exactly bed time.  Everything in this town is closed, understandably, and I’m left alone with a 6-pack, a laptop, and an all-too-human sense of isolation.  This is my life for the next 11 days.  The lonliness is a bitch, but mercifully, the jet-lag will wane.  Mercilessly, it takes about a week, so I’ll have about 4 days to be an actual person with actual sleeping, eating and pooping habits.  I might get a day off one week from today, but that’s only if things go well which is quite a rarity.  If not I’ll end up working 11 days in a row with a trans-atlantic flight before and after.  And, this is normal; a remarkably unremarkable state of being.

Ever seen ‘Up In the Air’?  Take away the classy restaurants, the attractive women who are easily impressed by frequent flier miles, and the Morning Songbird meeting room at the airport Hilton and replace them with Applebee’s, dudes with belt buckles the size of my head, and 150 degree power plants and you have my life in a nutshell.  Ok, I don’t spend 320 days a year on the road like Ryan Bingham, but I did hit 175 last year.  Gimme a February and a couple of Mays and that’s 6 months right there.  That’s a shitload of time to spend living out of a suitcase.  But what’s more incredible, is that I’ve grown to love it.  I could do without the heat and the coal dust; and actually meeting a girl would be just fine with me.  But the bottom line is when I’m not travelling; when I’m stuck at home (the fact that ‘stuck’ was the word that popped up on the screen without my realizing it says a fair amount) I get bored.  Really bored.  Sounds insane, I realize.  When I’m travelling I get incredibly homesick.  But then I get home and I’m almost immediately road-sick.  Maybe I crave the itinerized lifestyle (when you write a blog you get to make up words), maybe it’s the fact that I know not too many people could do what I do without going bat-shit, Charlie Sheen insane.  I’m a long ways from normal, and I adhere to a pretty strict regimen of whiskey and cigarettes, but I do alright, and I’m pretty proud of that.

Fucked if I know why I like this, but I do.  The fact that I’m blogging about it has to do largely with a handful of close friends and relatives, all of whom are in awe that as of yet I haven’t gone the aforementioned bat-shit insane, and all of whom chastise me regularly for not writing.  The title comes almost directly from an argument I had with my cousin.  She, correctly, told me yet again to write a book about my experiences.  I, incorrectly, wrote a paragraph outlining why that was a ridiculous idea.  While my life aesthetically looks like the stuff of fine fiction, I insisted, it’s actually surprisingly dull.  Fly.  Sleep.  Eat.  Work.  Eat.  Drink.  Sleep.  Eat.  Work.  Eat.  Drink.  Sleep.  Eat.  Drink.  Fly.  There.  That’s 3 days in the life right there.

However, it took me a while to realize that the mundanity in it all is actually pretty damn amazing.  People are people wherever you go.  Kids chase ducks in Germany just like they do in Kentucky.  Old men rudely proposition attractive young women in Minnesota just like they do in Texas.  It’s an enormous, tiny, boring, outrageous, and predictably unpredictable world out there.  And I’m the genuinely sarcastic, quietly outspoken dude at the end of the bar sipping my Beam and Coke and watching and listening to it all.

And now, I’m writing about it.  Remarkably unremarkable isn’t it…

– B. Littleton

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