The Vacation Is There Is No Vacation.

by Serge Bielanko

In a few weeks we are boarding an airplane with a baby. So, we'll be THOSE people for an afternoon. The ones with the screaming infant...ruining everyone's little bullshit dream of Coach Is Now First Class!

Hmph. People get to thinking to themselves: well, maybe the flight will be pretty empty! I hope so! I'd love to have a whole row to myself so I can slip my shoes off and hang my socky sausage toes out just an inch or two in the aisle so that everyone going back to take a piss can notice them and notice me sleeping the afternoon away high in the sky; a seasoned air sleeper on my three and a half hour jaunt to my economical four hour layover in Detroit.

F them.

I wanna fill one of Violet's diapers with Nutella. I wanna wait 'til she explodes into a sack of wailing tears at twenty-nine thousand feet. I wanna stand up in my cramped row so the people tsk'ing in the rows around me notice that one of THEM has risen. And I wanna eat the 'shit' right out of my daughter's diaper in all of its gooey clumpish glory. I want Nutella on the tip of my nose for effect. I want a possible Air Marshall dry heave.

Then, I want someone with some goddamn authority around here to bring me a plastic Captain's Wings for my sweet little pumpkin nugget, pronto.


Anyway. I can't relax. That's my summer vacation in a Coke cap. Four days back east. To pass Violet around to her various peeps. Maybe deep-fry a Butterball by the garage. I wanna bring my fly rod but I know some kid in Cargo will slowly slip it out of its metal tube/out of its protective pouch and snap it over his thigh-front; and then just ice-ily/methodically slip it back into where he got it. Punk.

I dream. I dream of two or three weeks of Europe the right way. Escargot in a clandestine dive: butter sauce under a single nude light bulb. Airy white wines at a picnic table in a beer garden of chattering locals. Rambling over afternoon moors under a rainbow in a spritz. Canals with swans. Cobblestone street strolling, holding the milksoft hand of the woman I love. Making a phone call to Monica every afternoon. (Psyche! She's with me in all my travel dreams.) Pizza with a knife and fork. Lunch meats for breakfast. Summer romance with an endless fat clump of Euros riding shotgun in my H&M man-purse. Sex in the morning before the museums.

Either way: not happening.

So where you headed this summer? Tell me. I can take it.