I was on a business trip when I read the above description of airplane travel in BSNYC's irreverent blog. So appropriate was the phrase I felt compelled to adopt it.
Montreal was painless, except for the alarm going off at three thirty in the morning for the second time in three days. With solider-like instinct I reached for my travel alarm (which is my alarm at home as well) picked it up and slid the alarm switch to the off position with my thumb and closed the alarm as if shutting a switchblade after dispatching an adversary. It then was placed in the outside zippered pocket of my travel roller where it lives whilst Evo is in transit.
After looking at my face in the mirror and struggling to recognize the old man with puffy eyes looking back at me, I stepped into the shower. The warm water soothed my stiff muscles, but the shuttle to the airport was departing in fifteen minutes leaving little time to pause. I expected little company at three fifty in the morning, but I was sorely wrong. An extended family with more luggage than I could fathom was grouped like a pile of dirty laundry near the front door of the hotel. A knot of children whose energy at this wicked hour was contrasted by the grandparents who looked as if their path to feeling better included imminent death. Another business traveller met my gaze with a look of condemnation for the family that would share our brief ride to the airport.
I recalled the first rule of travel, "Be flexible." I rolled with it.
Soon I was in line to clear American immigration (yes, in Canada... Don't ask my why, that is just how they do it in America's attic). After exiting the Violation in the name of security zone and passing through immigration and customs I was spilled out into the duty free store. The olfactory attack of international perfumes assailed my nostrils and briefly woke me up. Finding my gate I crashed and waited for the ranking.
Can you see the germs ?Platinum members, gold members, sapphire and emerald members, priority members, elite members, on and on it went until they began calling the bottom tiers and then finally, group one, group two and then group three. When the common thieves and criminals of group four were called I squared my shoulders and claimed my rightful spot next to the window. It was still as dark as midnight outside and I put on my earphones and closed my eyes and tried to pretend to sleep. Before long we were on approach and I writhed in my torture seat seeking to minimize my discomfort.
I changed planes in Chicago. I have passed through the Chicago airport so many times this year it is depressing. Though they call it O'Hare, there is nothing Irish about the place. I bought a bagel and cream cheese and buried it deep in my messenger bag for consumption during my pending flight.
I have used my bright orange and gold Timbuk2 bag for five years and to the casual observer it still looks new. A keen eye would spot the pilling on the straps where the Velcro has irritated it. There are a couple of stitches that are missing, but the fabric remains bright. I have commuted with this and used it a my work briefcase every day since getting it from Hottie as a valentine's day gift years ago. When I see messenger bags that are worn and frayed, I wonder what the heck it takes to make them look so bettered. As I drag it around the globe on business trips I know it puzzles those I interface with. I am sure it reveals a playful side beneath my button down exterior. We are all more complex than our appearance might otherwise indicate, and I take a selfish pleasure in making people's minds work when they see the bag.
The sky is a brilliant blue here above the clouds. It is raining in Seattle. Seattle is home. I will take it.
Hottie, Tux and Star (whom Hottie wants to rename Noodle) await my arrival. I am ready to be home. I have almost two weeks before I again return to Montreal for an afternoon meeting. I shall savor my time at home.