Heather's wedding, June 5, 2004 part 6
September 1, 2004
The next morning, we had breakfast at the restaurant next door and then made our way back to Kelly's house. Her boss actually owns the house where Kelly stays, so we talked to Jen for a while. We were reminiscing about other people that had worked under Jen (including me), and when Kelly brought up my judgment error about missing the wedding by ten minutes, I decided to leave. As I pulled out of the driveway, my cell phone rang. It was my friend Cody, who had been invited to dinner at my folks' house. He wanted to know if it was all right if he brought Aaron and Ryan (who also worked under Jen before me). I ran the idea past my mother and everything was a go. SIDENOTE: Ryan and Aaron later bailed on dinner. The bastards.
We all had some dinner and chatted. Cody hadn't been over to see my parents since probably 1997. We all started right where we'd left off. It was nice to see him, if only for a little while. He'd just been out to visit me in California a few weeks earlier.
I said goodbye to my parents and Cody and headed back for the airport. This time I remembered that I would be taking off from the international terminal, so I dropped off the car and went toward the ticketing area via inter-terminal shuttle.
I got in line behind an ugly punk dude, who I was sure was my friend Ben. It turned out not to be him, which is unfortunate for the entire world. That means there are at least two safety-glasses-wearing, plaid-zipper-pants-wearing, very-hairy-backed, punk kids in the Midwest. The one in front of me at the airport kept his laptop computer in a child's Barbie backpack. That should have been my first indication that it wasn't Ben. Ben isn't that clever.
I finally got to the counter only to hear "sorry, sir, we only have middle seats available at this time." It wasn't that much of a shock to hear that because I had just come from my parents' house. I've been almost late for every flight that originated that way. I had to check one bag because it was too large. I watched them take it, put it on the conveyor belt that led only a few feet away, and then placed en queue. I just assumed that it was part of the construction - making them hand check all the bags inside the terminal. I didn't think much of it except "they'd better be fast or my bag won't make it on the plane with me."
I removed my shoes as I was walking, in preparation for the security checkpoint. This time I made it through to the gates on the first try. When I got through the checkpoint, though, I noticed that my gate was only a short walk away, so I carried my shoes and put them on at my own gate. I would have liked to have seen the faces of the people behind me as I walked stocking-footed through airport with one black sock and one white sock. My flight was scheduled to take off in about 25 minutes. The panel on the wall said that it was on time.
Approximately 20 minutes later, still 5 minutes before my flight was to take off, my airplane arrived at the gate. It was full of people. I guess they were a little behind schedule. The panel on the wall still said that my flight was on time. I sat there people-watching for another 35 minutes before they allowed boarding on my flight. The panel on the wall still said that my flight was on time, even though it was only boarding 30 minutes after the scheduled departure. God bless the airlines.
I boarded the plane and found my seat between two strangers. The girl with the window seat was pretty cute, so I wasn't all that disappointed to be "stuck" in the middle seat. I decided later that she was probably too young. By my guesses, about 19 or so.
The passengers were all boarded quickly and then reprimanded for making the flight late. I swear, the head flight attendant gave out a little sigh when we were almost all seated and then made an announcement to the extent of "if you could all be seated, we might be able to take off on time." Now you know why flight attendants get beaten up from time to time. Being on the same airline, I wizened up and immediately got out my CD player and turned it up even louder than before. I didn't even pretend that I was going to try to sleep. I brought out a book and read for the entire duration of flight. Well, almost. I had to stop reading while they were passing out the non-vegetarian meals. They didn't even ask me if I wanted the small, silver egg; it was just set on my tray table. Thanks, I wasn't using that to rest my hands on while I read. I waited for them to come around again and threw it away unopened. I don't know what grew inside.
There were announcements made on this flight, probably at the same volume, but I spaced them out because I kept one eye on the 'fasten seatbelts' sign the whole time. The cute girl on my right did not, and I found it adorable when she squirmed, oh-so-uncomfortably, at the noise that I didn't want to warn her about them. I think the guy sitting on my left (probably my age) wanted to switch seats so that he could talk to the girl, but I pretended not to hear him, and I never looked up. Haha. Cute girl, you owe me one! The rest of the flight was uneventful.
The final installment...
Posted by dennis @ 10:04 PM