Beginning At The End

Sometimes I have a hard time trusting happiness. Like it’s going to pull some cosmic rug out from under me just when I think I’ve got it all.  My  negative inner-voice battles my positive inner voice constantly.  My psyche is perpetually exhausted.

God, that’s so Woody Allen.

I have that feeling right now after the Austin success. Probably brought on by the weird flight home.

Delayed…..some sort of “computer glitch” we were told. Uh huh.

[I can still make it!  I’m sure the next flight is delayed, also!]

We take off finally.

But not until after an irritating display of technological idiocy from the woman squeezed into the seat next to me.

[Stop that!]

She keeeps punching at the personal video screen in the seat back in front of her. She made me and my techno-pea-brain look like Stephen Hawking.

How many punches does it take to figure out the fucking thing is NOT a touch screen?

[Doesn’t she know that the poor dude sitting in that seat can FEEL that?]

We finally take off but we’ve  eaten through quite a bit of the 37 minute Houston to San Jose layover.

[Don’t worry.  It’ll be fine.  I’ll make it.]

Damn.

We climb a little.

But not very much.

I’m still seeing freeways….and  cars moving on said freeways.

Hmmmm.  Shouldn’t we be seeing that quilt-like display of farmland and funky looking crop circles thingies you see out the window….when you head OUT of one city and on to the next??

Okay….Im having a flashback to that time in the Philippines when the single engine plane I was in had to land in a goat pasture. Same feeling of why the hell isn’t this thing getting any higher?

[Oh, this is just great!  I finally make something of myself after fifty long years and fate snatches it from me on the way home??]

My heart starts to pound.

I feel faint.

Clammy.

A little queasy.

I think about grabbing the vomit bag.  On Continental, they double as an I’ll-be-right-back seat saver.  They are a lovely shade of blue.  The ones on United are white and remind you NOT to put them back in the seat pocket after use.  Good to know.

Techo-dummy leans across me to look out the window.

[Please return to your own space!]

She smells like lavender and fast food. Two smells that really should not end up in the same place.

For a second I think she may have the same thought. About the lack of altitude, I mean. Not the lovely-flowering-plant-meets-Big-Mac thing.

Then I had only one thought and that’s how annoying people with no concept of personal space are.

[Okay, This is good…a thought other than…the end is near.]

She leans back.

[Thank you.]

Starts punching that damn screen again.

[That’s funny.  She LOOKS normal. Perhaps it’s some kind of….disorder.  Just ignore it.]

But…damn.

We are still flying a little low but we’re still airborne so I’m starting to feel a wee bit better.

We take two sharp banking turns.

One hard left and then a few minutes later a hard right. I’m talking hard. Like some people were actually making that silly “I’m a soaring airplane” sound we made as kids, our skinny little arms stretched out like wings. Something like this: reeeoooowwww. You know the sound.  You’ve made it.  It’s just a little hard to spell.

[Stop doing that!  I’m getting scared all over again!]

Anyhoo, I don’t know geography that well, but I think Houston is a pretty straight shot from Austin as the crow flies so the only thing I can think is that they’re slowing us waaaaay down so we don’t get to Houston too early.

More munching on that layover niblet.

We arrive.

2 minutes to get to the gate that is 6 1/2 miles away.

I run.

And I am not a runner.

But today?  I was O.J-fucking-Simpson…pre-indictment.

My knees ache.

My lunges feel like they’re exploding.

[I thought I was in better shape.]

There is no one at the gate counter.

I beat on the glass door.

Hello?  Somebody? Anybody?

I run up to a guy at a little booth.

Can you help me?

Sorry, I don’t work here.

[Then why the hell are you standing in that booth?  At the airport?  Don’t answer that.]

I can see the plane…it hasn’t left!

A guy from Continental finally appears.

No…I cannot get on.  They have closed the doors.

But…but….

No.

Six hours in Houston….

I called my entire family, watched a couple of movies, missed my husband like an amputated arm.

But I made it home.

And I am happy.

Say….does lung tissue regenerate?

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