Monday, April 27, 2009

Europe Calling

I've recently discovered outrageously inexpensive airfare to Europe, and you might as well think I've discovered a cure for erotodromomania as well: $139 one-way from DFW to Frankfurt, Germany. I could get there and back for under $390, including tax and fees. I don't know if it's better to take advantage of the prices at this point or just wait it out until the winter break, when I know (or at least hope) that I'll be in a better frame of mind to make a reasonable decision without relying on what my emotions whisper in my ear.

Angst declares, "Even if you still feel what you feel in Germany, feeling what you feel will feel better in Germany. Hell, I built Germany single-handedly!"

Ennui confides, "Your heart won't be so heavy over there, on the continent where Euro Frankie rules with a fauxhawk and an iron fist. Reading philosophy and poetry over a Milchkaffe will suit you just fine."

Malaise chides, "How do you ever expect to stand out from being if you don't get out of your own fucking head long enough. You've worked too hard these past few years. Grab this break by the balls and don't let go. And why do you even need to come back so soon?"

This damned swine flu travel advisory/quarantine better not make the decision for me. And I better not get sick. There were so many piggies on the train today coughing and hacking, I'm surprised I haven't turned into a ball of quivering phlegm myself already. I may just drive to campus Wednesday instead of risking the spread of other people's filth on public transportation.

Tonight I finished rereading the Michael Henry Heim translation of Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice," an eloquent and austere work. I carefully pronounced every word aloud as if I were calling this story into being, making especially sure to properly enunciate the declensions and diminutives of Tadzio's name. As an undergraduate, my insanely pretentious professor pronounced "Tadzio" as if it were Italian, but I fought such intellectual laziness with correct Polish inflection. Finally, all those years of studying Polish have paid off.

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