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Day 1 of the Me and You Festival Tour


One thing you cannot do when you are on tour is adopt free kittens that you see on bulletin boards. Even if they are very cute, even if it would be good company in all the hotel rooms. You have to leave them for the locals. New Yorkers, these are yours.

I dutifully look out the window when the pilot tells us that we can see Staten Island from the left side of the plane. I feel like when I was child and I would pretend to be interested in such things in order to be closer to my dad and brother, who had a whole world of license plates and maps and statistics. I'm only interested when you get low enough to see the people. Or if we were crashing, then I'd look. Back when we were in LA we had to wait in the plane for two hours because the hydraulic pump had to be replaced. I could hear everyone on their cells phones saying Yeah, it's the hydraulic pump. We all tried to imagine what this kind of pump does. Personally, I thought it did not sound very important and my reasoning was this: it probably has to do with hydraulic breaks, and the only time the plane needs the breaks is once it's already back on the ground again. I imagined us careening through the runway, totally out of control, hitting everything, and I felt ok about it. If a wing had to be replaced that would be another story.

Here is what I watched and read on the plane: Love Film (by Istvan Szabo) and a short story called A Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier (from The O. Henry Prize Stories.) Both were totally great and made me want to write. But I did not write, I slept. I fell in to this kind of shared sleeping vortex with the young woman sitting next to me. We didn't say a word to each other, but we both could not stay awake, and our bodies were reacting the same way to the varying temperature in the cabin. At times we were both trying to swaddle ourselves in the airplane blankets, and at other times we took off our sweaters. As I drifted in and out of sleep I felt incredibly close to her, safe and content and far from the earth and all the problems that arise when you actually talk to people. In Love Film a woman describes how she feels she cannot live without his "presence," she says it in french and can't find the Hungarian word for it: just him being there, not anything they could do or say, just the fact of his living self near hers. But in the end she does live without him.

In closing, I want to say welcome. This is the beginning of everything. Tomorrow we will launch this website and begin to invite people into the world of Me and You and Everyone We Know. Which is this movie that I dreamt up on many nights like tonight, alone, typing, wondering, wishing, laughing under my breath. Amazingly, it will be in theaters in June. And before then you might be able to see it at a special screening in your town. Will the woman I sat next to on the plane see it? Not likely. But you might. You might see the biggest leap I ever took, like spiderman, across two buildings too far apart to even dream of making it. But I did. Here I am, living to tell, telling to live, dying for you to see. night, mj

P.S. it would be overly poetic to forget to say that I'll be at the Fusion Festival at NYU  tomorrow night, showing the movie and answering questions.

Posted by Miranda July on April 15, 2005 | Permalink