As I mentioned, I flew back to Maine on Sunday rather than my usual train-to-bus route. Ordinarily, I prefer to travel by train. The speed of air travel disorients me, and it's worse because I generally fall asleep on takeoff, and thus have no memory of traveling from Point A to Point B. Some people like that, but I don't; I want to feel that I'm actually going somewhere.
On Sunday, a line of thunderstorms interrupted my nap. The pilot came over the radio to warn us about turbulence, and sure enough, the plane lurched and bucked hard for about the next 90 seconds. It was enough time for me to say a few Hail Marys and wonder about whether anyone would know where Dizzy was, if I went down with the plane. (For the record: most of the time when I travel without him, he stays here.)
But the turbulence didn't last long, and our plane landed safely and right on time.
Which makes me all the more fascinated with the disappearance of yesterday's Air France flight. According to news reports, the plane crossed a band of heavy thunderstorms near the equator, then reported an electrical system failure and a loss of cabin pressure. Then it disappeared.
I am not a nervous flier. It's never seriously occurred to me that a plane could just drop out of the sky, and I've never felt particularly worried when we hit turbulence. Is this just simple-minded and naive?
Today's summer reading recommendation: Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. In the English countryside of 1950, 10-year-old Flavia de Luce amuses herself with elaborate chemical experiments and tormenting her two older sisters. When a stranger turns up dead in the garden after a mysterious meeting with her father, Flavia determines to save her father from suspicion by any means necessary. This is a wonderful, old-fashioned mystery with a unique but believable main character, and I hope we see much more of Flavia.
Oh, and I almost forgot: John Connolly launches his latest Charlie Parker novel, THE LOVERS, at The Great Lost Bear in Portland tonight at 7:00. He's giving away free stuff and it should be a good time, so I'll hope to see you there. I did a little (very little) work for THE LOVERS, but would have liked it even if I hadn't....