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.
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.]
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.
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.
Starts punching that damn screen again.
[That’s funny. She LOOKS normal. Perhaps it’s some kind of….disorder. Just ignore it.]
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.
2 minutes to get to the gate that is 6 1/2 miles away.
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.
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?