Sunday, September 25th, 2011

My high school marching band had been waiting in the lobby of the airport terminal for hours to get the call to board the flight. We were in the lobby because it was the only place big enough to hold a hundred fifty high school kids. Mister E, our band director, was getting nervous about the delay, so asked me to check the time. Why he didn’t just look at his wristwatch, I don’t know.

I was sitting at the top of a ladder that must’ve been about twenty feet tall, reading a book, so it was a long climb down, so long, in fact, that almost everybody was gone by the time I got to the bottom. I had no idea where they’d gone, but that didn’t bother me because I had a mission. I shucked off my black patent leather shoes and stepped into a pair of mukluks, then shrugged into a heavy-duty parka, because if I was being entrusted to get the correct time I was going to do it right, and the only way to do that was to run to the bank across the parking lot, but there was about six feet of new-fallen snow on the ground and it was the dead of winter. I was not going unprepared.

The bank was closed when I got there, probably because of all the snow, but there was another very official-looking office building at the other end of the parking lot. After climbing to the top of a twenty-foot-tall snowbank, however, I could see there were several more just like it between me and my destination, so I decided to go back to the airport terminal and tell Mister E to check his damn watch if he wanted to know the time.

When I got to the bottom of the snowbank, I found myself in a narrow alleyway between a long row of dilapidated buildings. I opened the door of the van parked beside the snowbank and found my black patent leather shoes. What are they doing here? I wondered and, knowing I’d need them later, I stuffed one in each of the big pockets in my parka. There were also several pairs of bedroom slippers that looked so much like mine that I picked through them, one pair at a time, thinking mine must be in there somewhere. I never did find them, gave up and trudged through the snow to the end of the alley, looking for the road back to the terminal.

I don’t remember how I got back but when I did nobody from the band was in the lobby. I asked several uniformed airline people and was finally told that they’d gotten their boarding call and were at the gate, which was, of course, way on the other side of the terminal. To get on the flight I had to grab my forty-two suitcases and race through the halls as fast as I could in my parka and mukluks.

I started off running as fast as I could, but the hallways of the airport terminal were so beautiful I ended up wandering through them, awestruck. The indirect lighting perfectly highlighted the richly stained cherry wood paneling, and the hardwood floors were exquisitely well-polished, despite the heavy foot traffic. I wandered for what seemed like hours and didn’t even care when I came to the end of the terminal and found that my flight was long gone and I had no way to contact anyone to let them know where I was.

And then I woke up and made coffee.

time | 3:54 pm CST
Category: daily drivel | Tags:
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