Jeanne Koré Salvato

adical waiting may not look much like it does in Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. As you may know, two seemingly un-housed individuals are awaiting a certain Godot who may or may not do something grand, such as save them.  Save them from what? you may ask. The best I can tell, it’s to save them from the existential condition that we are all involved in, namely existence itself.

READER:  What radical waiting do you propose?
ME:  I am taking matters in my own hands.  Time to go to France.  Find my man.

READER:  Then what?
ME: I was wondering that too.  Would I go looking for Godot?  Maybe I would enjoy Paris and see if Godot could find me.  (Which already sounds very much like waiting, except we could take the wait out of waiting.)
READER:  That leaves “ing.”
ME:  “ing for Godot.” Well, that doesn’t have the right number of syllables, so we have to repeat the “ing.” “Inging for Godot.” We are veering into the absurd, which is at least one stripe that has brushed the canvas of Godot.

Inging for Godot

The eagle has landed!  The promised Wifi connection with AT&T did not work, despite the welcoming text from said AT&T.  So, off to—well, what?  The airport Wifi didn’t connect.  I mean I had nottin.’  I asked an airport information person if there was a Bouygues, a French phone company, in the airport. She pointed to the tourist info stand just across from us.  Now that was lucky. And sure enough, whatever they did with and to my phone worked, so that for 39 euros for a month, I had Google maps and Wifi.  The good people at the counter enjoyed bantering with me until I pointed out that the place I was headed for was not connecting.  In fact, the phone said, hors connection, which means “not connecting.”  Finally, very fed up, the man asked if I could have put in the wrong address of my friend.  “Quoi?” “What?” And indeed.  But why would the wrong address say that the phone was not connecting?  What didn’t it say, “Can’t find address?”  Well, the people at the counter were not the least bit interested in these philosophical questions, and they did not even nod agreeably when I thanked them and left.   

Traveling Shoe!

I arrived at the counter in Rochester ready to check in for my 11 a.m. flight.  Well, the man at the counter found a flight that left at 6 pm.  Why didn’t I come back and take that one?  Sure, said I.  I will send your bag along, said he.  After I spent a lovely free day at my co-working place, I reappeared at the airport, only to learn that the flight had been delayed.  And delayed again.  By the time it landed in Chicago, I had 15 minutes to find the next gate for the plane leaving for France.  You do know that they close boarding 15 minutes before take-off. I was half hustling / half running down the concourse, thinking, “Where is my bag?”  And also, “Why didn’t they give me a boarding card?”  When I arrived at the gate, I was handed a boarding card, for 13 L, which apparently was lucky, since onto Paris I went with a great seat-companion who teaches history of art at Northwestern. And, my bag was there on the carousel.

Part I. Traveling is not easy.

Part II. You will finish traveling at some point, whether it’s where you want to go or not …)

Part III.  Keep Godot in mind to distract you.

Here’s a review from The New York Review of Books about the biopic, which I haven’t seen.  I wonder if it’s any good?

Mark O’Connell
Neglecting Beckett

“James Marsh’s biopic Dance First runs into some predictable problems in adapting the life of a writer, especially one as recognizable as Samuel Beckett.”

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