The First of Many

As I said in a previous blog entry, I have a lot of stories from my days of working on the road and traveling weekly. Most stories I haven't shared with too many people. Some are very personal. Some deal with deep emotions and the struggles I worked through in life during that time. Some of my entries are just poems - crude, awkward and clunky at times, but an expression of thought and emotion. Some will even include graphic evidence of the events being described...

Be prepared; I am about to share all of these with you, my dear readers. Some I will be putting in the Member's Only section, so if you are so inclined to really want to read what goes on in my head, and what went on in my life at that time, feel free to request access.

Judge me for my actions, thoughts, feeling and my sense of self if you wish... but this is me.

This first one was originally written on March 11, 2007:

So I thought this day, and this trip was really going to suck. I had planned to meet a friend in Louisville – was eagerly anticipating spending some time in this person’s company and at the last minute they had to cancel.

My flight plans were made in accordance with coordinating our schedules, there was no turning back for me. And just like that, disappointment.

With a bit of a heavy heart I trudged through the process of going to the airport – on a regular day an easy task, but this is the first Sunday of Spring Break for many schools so flights were sold out, completely. Parking was filled – COMPLETELY!

This was not shaping up to be a good trip and it hadn’t really even started.

A connection out of LaGuardia was bound to make things worse, but amazingly the flight delays weren’t horrible. I got into LaGuardia with plenty of time to catch my connecting flight. My connection boarded almost on time, only about 20 minutes late which must be a record of some sorts for this airport. All the passengers on the sold out flight were prepared to go; seatbelts on, reading materials in hand, relaxed for the most part and psyched to go home, or see friends or in my case, get started on a job I don’t really want to go do.

Then the LaGuardia curse set in.

A ground crew representative steps onto the plane and announces, “We have an over-weight situation already and we don’t even have all the baggage on the plane – we need at least 4 passengers to volunteer off of the flight or this plane will not go anywhere.”

Wait a minute… the seats are filled. And only the seats. There are no passengers standing in the isles hanging onto hand straps. If the plane can’t carry as many people as it has seats, what exactly is the point of all the seats? Is someone transporting lead in their luggage? What gives?

It doesn’t matter. In typical human fashion everyone on the plane looks at each other as if to say, “I need to be here, YOU get off.” I ponder from my window seat, do I really need to fly there tonight? Is it going to be catastrophe if I show up tomorrow sometime instead? Probably not.

Before I can even make the decision though, a young man in Army fatigues is the first volunteer to stand and hit the aisle. I excused myself past my neighbor, grabbed my laptop bag and hurried behind him.

I said, “Hey man, if you’re going home to see family or if you need to go you should. I’ll step off.”

The young man replied, “Nah, I’m just going back to base to work. They won’t miss me. Besides, I can use the rest.”

Not grateful enough, the airline representatives handed us our carry-on and sought out the soldier’s duffle. But they still needed at least 2 or 3 more people to give up their seats. No matter to me now, I committed. The plane can sit grounded until morning for all I care, it’s not my flight anymore.

So this was turning out not the way I expected. I wasn’t getting to where I needed to be, and I wasn’t where I wanted to be. And my options to get to either were nil.

What to do?

I worked out my flight for the next morning, took my hotel and free round-trip voucher and headed for the glorious accommodations the airline was going to provide me with. I got online and found some solace in my dear friend Giselle. She is ALWAYS a beacon of light. We chatted, we texted, we chatted some more. I’m very happy to have her as my friend, for sure.

Then a real surprise. My friend Heather, that I know is not far from New York logged into an IM, so I invited her to come kill time with me while I was stuck for the night, and she did!

An exciting turn of events for once – we had quite an enjoyable night just talking, catching up and laughing, a lot. Neither of us slept, but the conversation kept flowing right until I had to leave for the airport again.

The temporary solace from the week's work ahead. But those are the curve-balls life throws sometimes. The mix of taking the bad with the good.

Unfortunately, the good never seems to last long enough.

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