Sunday, September 26, 2010
This was written on my trip out to Utah to pick up a cat.
Sep 10, 2010 in the air over America
There is something about travel that makes me anxious. I worry about forgetting things; I worry about getting lost, but most of all, I worry about being late. So I am always ready way too early. I have to work to slow down and take my time or I end up ready to go hours ahead of when I need to be, and then I just become this fidgety mess. This trip was no different. My flight took off at 10:30 am Milwaukee time. I needed to be at the airport by around 9:30. Last night I got home from work late. There was a class I needed to teach at 6:30 so even heading right home I didn’t get there until about 7:50. By 8:20 p.m. I was completely packed. I then sat at the computer to check into my flight and get my boarding pass.
We were out of paper at home, so I grabbed a stack of “good on one side” scrap paper at work on which to print things. Most of it was old library handouts, drafts of new handouts, printed schedules and calendars. I failed to notice that not all the sheets were white and as it came out, I managed to print my boarding pass for my first flight on a pink sheet of paper the back side of which explained how to do research on children’s literature. Turns out my poverty was an asset because Southwest gave me a prize (a can caddy) for having my boarding pass printed on a different color.
I was the 91st person to board the plane and got a window seat just behind the wing. An extra bonus was the flight taking off towards the lake and turning over the downtown offering some great views of some of my most loved landmarks including St. Stephen’s.
Anyway, back to the story, I had that “I’m flying on a plane for the first time in 8 years” thing going on and spent a lot of time making sure I wasn’t going to try to bring anything that I shouldn’t. Packing light is a challenge for me. It’s sort of like complicated math for me: I can do it but it takes a lot of thinking and you can’t interrupt me. I debated at length about taking my Neo, going light and just grabbing a pen and pad of paper, but as I sit here typing away I can say that I’m very glad to have my writing tool with me. My hands would have cramped up by this point if I was hand writing.
(The pilot is talking and I can’t understand a word he is saying. Drinks are also coming. I’ve already eaten my cheese sandwich crackers but I’m saving my Ritz chips for the arrival of my glass of Dr. Pepper.)
So this morning I was up around 6:00. Latif got home last night, and well, since he started his job hosting at Benihana I haven’t seen much of him when he is conscious. I didn’t get to bed until after midnight and I didn’t sleep well, because I was cold, until Mr. Gaba came to bed a little later.
This morning I got up about 6:05. Late for me, but still way too early. I played around online, watched the local news, and tried to put off, as long as I could stand it, getting dressed and putting the last two items in my suitcase before closing it up. I was all ready to go by 8:00 am, but hanging around an airport costs money. Parking is free if it’s less than 30 minutes so I really did not want to hang around the airport. I read a few blogs, checked facebook again, and checked the flight status. I checked my bag to make sure I had everything I needed. I debated at length with myself about taking my thumb drive with me, fussed about whether I should re-print my boarding pass on white paper or if anyone would care that it was pink. Finally, at 8:40 we left. Latif drove and did not hurry. He made a usual missed exit kind of mistake that he seems to always make when he drops me off at an airport. This time he just took the next exit and we drove past the hotel where he used to work. (Once in Fort Wayne he simply put the car in reverse and drove backwards on the freeway to get to the exit.—It’s never a journey—It’s always an adventure.) Drinks are here. I’ll write more later.