Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mar goes to New York… The Airport:

Nothing could have prepared me for my first experience at the airport!  My anxiety was already at an all time high just because I had only ever traveled alone a few times and this was a long time ago by train form Harrisburg to Latrobe-I was much younger then and things seem so different when you’re young! 
Bill was very patient and kind considering how high strung I was-he isn’t geared like this so I feel very fortunate that he understood and did everything he could to make this easier for me.  He drove me to the airport-I didn’t even know how to get there.  He took me in and made sure I knew exactly where to go.  He even came all the way up to the security check point and waited until I got through.  Someday I will write about the Yin and Yang that IS our relationship but for now, it’s enough to say he grounded me, guided me and helped me to get my butt on that airplane!
Security was a little strange to me-not as bad as I thought-after all, I’ve been to the Court House so many times that the procedure was nothing new.  (Except for the shoes having to be removed.)  The scanner picked up on every pin, screw and wire that holds me together! This was only mildly amusing in a detached sort of way, I had forgotten all about my left wrist having been wired together as a teenager and apparently it looked like a watch on the scanner.  They kept pulling up my sleeve and asking me if I was wearing a watch-I was a little confused until it came to me that they must be seeing the “cage” that holds my wrist together. The only other thing that was interesting was that I had to lift my bangs up, there is a very small screw that scanners pick up above my left eye and it holds my eye socket tight.  I explained, they accepted and I moved on!
Now I had to find my gate…it was on the other side of the airport.  At Harrisburg this is not really very far so, I made it in plenty of time.  By now I had totally shut myself off form the sights and sounds all around me, listening intently for them to call for boarding. 
I’m not sure what I expected the airplane to look like but, it was three seats across and very narrow.  There was no room to breathe! This plane wasn’t crowded and I was seated at the very back with all men-they were going fishing in New York.  Here’s the thing: it took longer to get to the airport and get on the plane than it took to fly to New York! As I sat there, trying not to look out the window in fear of being ill, I couldn’t help but wonder why I had chosen to fly instead of taking the train-or risking the drive!  The plane was filthy and I didn’t want to touch anything!  Thank goodness I had a purse full of wet wipes or I would have gone insane thinking of the germs crawling all over me!
I had to get off that little plane and get on another one at Dulles.  Now THAT is a big airport!  Once again the gate was at the other end of the airport and I hurried along in fear of being late.  You see, I don’t walk very fast; I’m more like a “stroller” than a “power walker”.  I tried to keep my “shield” up this whole time because I was picking up all sorts of energy that I didn’t want.  I made no eye contact with anyone except airport employees.  Already my energy was getting low and I was feeling a little not right.  Finally they called for us to board and imagine my surprise when this airplane was only slightly larger than the last one-only with three times more people trying to find a place to put bags, coats and whatever else they had with them into the overhead compartments!  Chaos!  I don’t like chaos! 
My seat was again a window seat and the sun was so bright I closed it half way.  The man beside me was not pleasant!  At least he didn’t talk to me so, there’s something.
The woman in front of me was definitely a prostitute.  She was not a clean one either-her weave was matted and filthy, she had terrible body odor and aside from that, I could “feel” her in a way that I never like.  In a few short words I can only describe this as she had just come from something that didn’t turn out the way she thought it would and she was relieved to be going back home.  I shut this out as soon as I received it but, damn it, it was already in my head!  I know some people would be judgmental about sitting so near a smelly prostitute but the thing is, she has a story too and it didn’t feel like it was a very happy one.  Empathy towards fellow humans is not a bad thing.
So I make it to LaGuardia!  I get off the plane; it feels like I’m in a tornado of energy!
Time to get my bag!  I find it, wrestle it off the thingy and get it rolling on its wheels.  Now I need my “proof” that this is my bag…and I can’t find it!  I then get out of line, start rummaging through my purse and finally find it!  By now I’m last in line and that’s okay too…I can wait!  I asked a nice lady wearing an airport name tag how to get to the hotel and she shows me where the courtesy phone is…I call the hotel and they tell me (sort of) where to go to catch the shuttle.  I drag myself and my bags out into the middle of a street and look around-suddenly realizing I’m in New York! I made it!  Here I am! All by myself!  Oh, and I’m smoking two cigarettes at once!

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