It was a Thursday, when I left, but it wasn’t until Friday that I arrived.
The inbetween time seemed to last as long as it did.
For thirty hours, I existed in a state of limbo, knowing that if it wasn’t now, it would never be.
The first seven hours had been spent at airport number one.
I wasn’t accomplishing anything, but to waste the hours away without watching the clock, or be seen doing so.
Heavy-legged and worn from toting my suitcase in the relentless heat of the morning sun in Hawai’i, I sat, people-watching, while noting who wasn’t playing by the rules. There were lots of them, too. Mostly foreigners, I can tell this by the accents worn on their brows.
I began to wonder if it was an American thing to stand in line, single-file, until the person behind the counter called, “Next”.
After much thought, I decided that it wasn’t something that American’s take credit for… those people just couldn’t read English, I can tell this by the puzzlement of their brows.
Sitting, became standing, then walking – to where, wasn’t the point – the point was to waste the hours away without watching the clock. I found absurd things to busy my mind, my beaten body only reminded me of what I had been though and why I was leaving.
When I stopped paying attention to myself just sitting, a voice was heard on the PA system, “Flight Whatever-Whatever is now boarding at gate 47”. This was my cue to get up from the bench and make the walk down the corridor. I checked-in with the airline, waited a short time for them to board rows one through twenty, got up and waited again. This was becoming a chore more than anything else, but I did as I was told and eventually found that I was buckled-in for the half hour flight to the second airport.
I no longer cared what the time was, for it only seemed an extention of waste and of heavy legs, though my suitcase was all comfy-cozy in it’s compartment below deck. It’s a shame I didn’t care to see the clock since I was so inclined to waste time away, I missed my second of three booked flights! But my poor attention soon changed when a kind gentleman approached me and told me that another flight was leaving, from the same airline, for the same destination, and I was booked on it. I must have shown the wear of that day on my brow, because that gentleman told me that he would take me to that gate and board me, personally, on that plane. He did and I was then on my way.
When the cabin’s lights are dimmed, and the pre-selected movie du jour isn’t of the slighest of interest, one, you would think, would get some shut eye. I did not. Instead, I found the three-quarter full moon to be of interest. It was the only thing shown from my window seat in the darkness of night, 33,000 feet high in the night sky.
When I landed in Phoenix, the airport couldn’t have been laid-out any worse. And those ‘moving sidewalks’ didn’t go all the way to the next gate I had to be at. But I had a few hours to kill. So I did. More time was wasted, legs still heavy and now throbbing, What I needed to do, was to find a place to park my body.
I don’t remember too much else, until I was in the cabin of that third and final flight. Anxious to land, I kept looking out the window, to see if I could notice landmarks to tell where I was. But the clouds were patterned like puffy squares, with one butted against the next, I couldn’t see below the white. I think I may have dozed off from seeing endless clouds, because hearing, “Good afternoon, folks, we are approaching Newark Liberty International. We will be landing as soon as we get the okay from the tower” got my attention.
uneasy anxiety turned into anticipation and I felt that I needed to splash cold water on my face, colour my lips and comb my hair… so off to the restroom before the STAY SEATED sign was posted above. When I returned to my seat, I could finally see beyond and through the clouds… I muttered, “Ahh, hazy Newark – home!” and began to gather my things.
Once I was off the plane, I headed to the baggage pick-up zone. That’s where I was met by my Saviour and where I last used my wooden cane for assistance. That was more than one year and almost four months ago, and, yes, I still have Multiple Sclerosis, but I haven’t used that crutch since I found my freedom.
dld, september 9, 2010
written for T10, prompt = a wooden cane