The Ill Beginning Catches the Flu

Generally, I love airports. I’ve spent more time in them than a pickle’s spent in vinegar. They’re like a second home to me. I could give you a tour of all the major ones in North America and several select international (London Heathrow, Hong Kong, Tokyo). But my least favorite of all major airports is Chicago O’Hare. Everything bad always happens at Chicago O’Hare. Then again, bad things began to happen long before we got to Chicago.

St. Paul's Cathedral from the other side of the Thames

I took my seat at the gate in LAX some twenty minutes before departure, surprised the plane wasn’t already boarding, and called Melissa (the last person I was letting down . . . for that day — I hoped). To my relief the film crew arrived shortly later (my mom and Katelyn had been joking, a bit heartlessly, that if they didn’t make it I might be put in charge of filming the documentary as well). A voice came over the loudspeaker . . .

Thus it began. Our gate was moved, our flight was delayed, we waited two (2!) hours in the customer service line then they ran us across the terminal to another flight but we still missed our connection, so we waited two (2!!) more hours in the customer service line in Chicago. Luckily I’d eaten breakfast because it was late by then, and also luckily I hadn’t been able to decide that morning between an apple or an orange so had brought both — lucky because Micah and Martin (which is what I’d learned by then their names were) hadn’t eaten breakfast. Maybe it wasn’t so bad, but by now I was falling asleep standing.

For all functional purposes I was the Best Boy, i.e. part of the film crew and easier to explain. Much, since I couldn’t have explained then why I was going on the tour if my life had depended on it.

Turns out this was an apropos beginning to the adventure. Lack of sleep, lots of standing, a generally undefined role and a mixture of feelings from not-half-bad to terrible. It was at the same time so wonderful and so awful I hardly knew how to feel about it. But now that it’s over I only remember the wonderful parts. There were somewhere around 21 of them — I never managed an exact count but that’s what I would tell the poor terrified hostess every time we showed up at a restaurant — and you’ll hear more about them later. Maybe.

“The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.”

George Eliot

5 thoughts on “The Ill Beginning Catches the Flu

  1. It’s really nice to hear about your trip Em.

    Is the date messed up or do you just post these several days before you make them public?

  2. Oh yeah. This may not bode well considering my recent life choices, but I never manage to write anything in a sitting. The 4th is apparently when I started drafting this. Oddly enough, that was before I think I’d even posted the last one.

  3. Writing something all in one sitting? Who does that?

    I have done a few stories at a stretch and come out the other side in a dehydrated stupor.

    Anyway, hope exists. I wish I had the slightest clue of what you were doing outside these posts, but maybe I’ll be near you soon enough to catch up in person when I can ask impertinent and brusque questions?

    Not like I get answers from people withholding them on purpose that way. I just feel empowered…

  4. Withholding on purpose? Ich? Sicher nicht.

    You will be very near. I believe you’re sleeping in my bed. And by that I mean my foam mat on the floor because I no longer have a bed. So sorry. You only wake up mildly bruised.

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