There is an old saying I’ve heard once or twice recently that goes something like this: ‘When it rains, it pours.’ Now, like any good Floridian, I know this isn’t always the case. In fact, when it rains, it could simply mist all day in overcast annoyingness. Sometimes when it rains it drizzles incessantly. Occasionally, it hurricanes like a beast. More often than not, though, when it rains it simply rains until the clouds are done crying. But last weekend, my friend, it poured like a mother fucker.
Take a ride with me, dear reader, on the waves of time and space. Back, back, back we go to a time when FedEx had finally decided to stop holding my last box ransom. (If you’re confused about when that is, take a gander at [FedUp].) Feel the undulation of the universal undertones as we enter a time before my bed was assembled, but after a sense of momentary peace washed over me for having received a complete set of boxes. In our personal TARDIS, we navigate our way through swirling vortexes and whirling horizons until we finally arrive…at JFK Airport.
With my one rolling carryon duffle and my reasonably sized hemp man purse, I made my way off the air train and into the check in terminal. I had showered the night before to give myself just a few more minutes of sleep. And with the magick of modern technology, I even managed to check in at home so as to avoid the lines at 5 in the morning. After all that FedEx nonsense, I was pretty done waiting. Security moved quickly, and I got through without any trouble. Rolling my way along the super man walkways (those stairless escalator type deals they have in the long stretches of the airports), I walked up to my gate right as they started boarding my flight.
As if my timing wasn’t already enough to make me feel like the bomb, my early check in landed me a seat in first class free of charge! At almost 6’3”, the extra leg room is most assuredly appreciated. It being a short flight from NYC to Charlotte, NC, there wasn’t really a meal to speak of. It was so early anyway that my body barely desired the bag of delicious first class potato chips I was offered. I took two anyway. When you’re in first class, I think it’s expected.
My layover in Charlotte was scheduled at about an hour and fifteen minutes. Thank goodness it was. I had no idea the Charlotte airport was so gargantuan! It was like I was walking on a never ending string of super man walkways into Narnia! Terminal E, where they keep all the puddle jumper planes, was essentially the boonies of the airport. It took a good long while to reach, and when I got there my phone reception was pretty spotty. But I got there with time for a coffee (it was still pretty darn early for me, night owl that I am) and a good 45 minutes besides to sit and read my book. Soon enough, I was on my flight to Greenville, just as Dennis and I had planned.
The flight was pretty uneventful. I managed to board the plane using its little staircase without hitting my head. There was a woman sitting next to me who looked like she was paranoid everyone in the world would try to steal her eyeballs. Really…if anyone could watch their own eyeballs, I know at least now I’ve seen someone try. My ipod went dead after 7 minutes. I should definitely have caught on to the signs being thrown at me that this was not as it should have been.
Regardless, I landed safely. All 16 of us that were on the plane hopped off just as gracefully and full of paranoia as we boarded. I noticed upon walking into the gate that...well, there was only one other gate in the airport. When my stepfather Dennis and I had talked about flying into Greenville instead of my regular flight to Charlotte, I had imagined it to be small, but only two gates? Okay…
I hustled and bustled with the miniscule crowd out into the parking lot and got on my phone. Dennis was supposed to be picking me up. I didn’t see him, so I wanted to check and make sure he was on his way.
“Hey Brog! Did you make it okay?”
“Yeah. I landed, and I’m out front.”
“I’m here. Do you see me? I’m in the red truck.”
“…no. Is there more than one exit point to this place? It seems too small for that.”
“Where are you, Brog?”
“…I’m in Greenville, SC.”
DELUGE ON MY HEAD!!!
Somehow in my infinite wisdom, I never confirmed with my parents exactly which city of Greenville I was supposed to fly into. To be fair, they live in NC, so I picked the one in NC. Now I know much better. It took some fancy financial finagling with my mommy to get the funds flowing for tickets to fix the whole fiasco, but I got it done. I ended up having to buy a new ticked to Charlotte and buy a completely new return flight home to NYC. It would have cost twice the flat ticket just to transfer my original ticket to a new flight. I don’t understand how any airlines could hurt in this economy when just to fix a mistake, admittedly my mistake, cost me another almost $500. Thanks, US Airways!
Once I had it all settled, all I could do was giggle to myself. There I was in the smallest airport I have ever experienced with a man I came to call the Frazzled Father (who appeared to be in my same situation) and a spirited African American woman who would occasionally have an outburst or two over some drama or other. For a while, we were the only three there. We three and a vending machine…even the front desk and security gate was shut down and abandoned. So I sat and I giggled at how silly life can be. And probably to save my brain from cracking. I had be awake since 4am after all.
It all worked out. I got to be picked up by my mommy and everything. We had an amazing weekend of friends, family, antiquing (I found the coolest stuff ever!), 50th birthday party throwing, dancing with little cousins, catching up with big cousins and just enjoying some time away from the city.
I may have possibly, probably met a really cute boy just before jetting away back to NYC, too. I think it was the universe paying me back for the plane mishap. Totally worth it.
And now I’m back home in NYC. My bed is built, my jobs are cranking along, and life is fabulous. I must truly be a Florida boy at heart. No matter the downpour, rain is just rain to me, and I just keep on as best I can. Happy Monday Fun Day.