Since we’ve been together, John and I have had nothing but good luck with airports. (WARNING: IF YOU DIDN’T CATCH THE SARCASM YOU MUST READ THIS FIRST!!! If you don’t, you may miss some jokes in this blog!!!) I’ll start by saying our trip from Harrisburg to Maui was on par with our general trend of airport experiences: lacking violins but full of everything else. We made a plan again, and again it was shut down by Life. Happening.
We were puddle jumping from Harrisburg to Philadelphia where we had an hour and a half layover then flying to San Diego, where we had an all night layover before heading to Maui. We had planned to go out dancing in San Diego with my friend, Jacqui, but a few days before we got there she had surgery and wasn’t in “get on the dance floor and shake your ta-tas mode” quite yet. We crossed wires and never did quite link up, so John and I ended up having a romantic night at the airport. We sat in rocking chairs by the front doors where the sweet fragrance of west coast taxi pollution could waft over us in waves carrying with it a slight chill. I propped my stocking feet on my bag, reclined the chair and proceeded to read a few sections of The Fountainhead to John.
We didn’t book a hotel for the night, nor did we pay for a pricey nutritious snack from McDonald’s to hold us over until morning. We found a booth in the Starbuck’s section of the food court that could fit the two of us, and decided to set up camp (Hell no we didn’t buy coffee! You should be ashamed of yourselves!!!!!). We simply broke out the smoked gouda, rice crackers, and salami we had prepared, set our computer on a chair tucked under the table, rested our cheeks on Ed and enjoyed a few episodes of Family Guy before falling asleep, our hands clasped lightly under the bear’s furry chin.
We woke up with our hair overlapping Ed, making him look like…a black bear with curly human hair (I know, I probably could have tried harder for on description). Our morning flight wasn’t until 7:15, but since San Diego’s terminals aren’t linked, we had to go back through security to get to our gate. John was carrying the slackline and ratchet in his bag and the security guys seemed to be confused, so they ushered him off to the side for official business. We later discussed how I bring tubes of toothpaste and tweezers everywhere and have yet to be told it’s not OK when they see it. Anyway, they held him up maybe 15 minutes.
I was slightly amused.
He was not.
While John was busy being harassed by “The Man” and treated like a potential terrorist (I kid. I kid. Mostly), I was busy thanking a member of “The Man” for his positive energy that morning. He was just an absolute ray of sunshine, and a clean, genuine one at that. I had been watching him interact with my fellow travelers, and I noticed he left every single person he spoke to a little brighter just by sharing his joy for life in a few pleasantries. I was thoroughly impressed, and again reminded of one of my favorite Persig quotes, “The only zen you find at the tops of mountains is the zen you bring with you.”
I imagine that man could be happy anywhere, with an energy that positive. He was at “work” in a city airport at 5:30 in the morning and every bit of him was alight with goodness. He was a walking spirit lifter! AT 5:30 AM!!! IN THE CITY!!! I loved it. I gave Mr. Positivity a hug for proving a brilliant point by existing, and waited for my lover to put his clothes back on after the exam.
(I joke…It wasn’t THAT bad of a screening…)
So after a nice, comfy Starbucks booth night followed by a thorough security screening, we boarded our plane. Now, we reserved seats 25b and 24b because no side by side seats were available (We didn’t buy the one way tickets too far in advance, that would denote planning…We don’t “do” planning). We assumed there would be somebody in one of those rows that wouldn’t mind shifting for a pair of young, sappy lovebirds to sit cooing at one another for another six hours. (Shut up! We ARE young!!!) We assumed incorrectly.
When we walked up to rows 24 and 25 the aisle seats and window seats were both taken, and the center seats stood free. I thought it would be a no brainer. I asked if anyone would mind shifting, and got a forceful NO from the woman on the aisle seat of row 25.
She said haughtily, “I’m claustrophobic.”
I thought immediately…cool, then she wouldn’t mind moving into the aisle seat a row forward, because the gentleman who was sitting there offered to move over to the middle…but she said no to that, too. I realized then that her husband was the man at the window, also saying no, and the two people in row 24 were also traveling together as a couple.
So, we flew to Hawaii this way, me in the front reading, writing love notes to John, slipping them to him like a coy school girl, and chatting it up with the folks from Cali whom I found to be named Jan and Bill, and John behind me, reading, writing notes back to me, sandwiched between a couple sharing less than 20 words over 6 hours together, and reaching through to touch my shoulder periodically. Somehow I got onto the topic of my brother, Chip, with Jan and Bill.
If you haven’t already heard, I’m in the midst of putting together a fundraiser for the wheelchair you see on the left for him. For 19 years, since he was 19 years old, he hasn’t been able to play off-road. That’s just not right.
Jan said suddenly, “I bet Bob would know the name of that guy in California who designed that custom wheelchair for charity,” and has her husband turn around and ask Bob, the man sitting on John’s left side. I almost laughed aloud.
I couldn’t help asking, “Wait, you guys know each other? You’re ALL traveling TOGETHER?” When Jan nodded I had to chuckle at the irony of having two center seats in two rows of people who all know each other but refuse to sit next to one another. John and I enjoyed some coffee con Bailey’s, and the rest of the flight was relatively smooth. He got a pretty bad headache as the plane landed, but even that faded as we left the airport unscathed and entered the tropical Hawaiian heat.
I had been absolutely sure of two things in this adventure. The first: I am traveling with my soulmate, and the Universe likes that, so I expected to arrive without serious bodily or emotional trauma. The second: There’s no way in Hell my sis would be on time picking us up from the airport. I was right on both accounts.
We arrived…twice. The plane skipped so noticeably to a stop that the pilot announced a second arrival in jest. There was a lot of nervous laughter. We disembarked, walked outside to the curb, and immediately sat down in the sun. I turned on my phone to receive a text from my mom that read: I think Rosa’s phone is disconnected. Good luck.
We looked at each other and laughed. Another adventure began sans violins, but right in tune with our lives.
“If you want to know what to expect in life, you are not looking for life, but a script to a play that has already been written.”