My buddy Micah moved out to Santa Fe this spring, and I missed him terribly. He and I are a fantastic pair – great at hugs, prone to laughter and cuddling, with sensitive souls. This is his first Thanksgiving away from Maine and family, and my first Thanksgiving divorced. So, it made sense both for our hearts and for my dwindling PTO supply for me to come out for a week to New Mexico for a holiday.
Handsome Dave (shown here, being handsome) is under the excellent care of my friend Dominic. They are fond of each other, Dave having sat for a portrait by Dominic. (If you are interested in having your pet portraited, check out some of Dominics other work and contact information)
My boss Sully dropped me off at the bus station, where I would take Concord Trailways to Logan Airport. Thanks, Sully! I was starting to feel less stress about being away for ten days, and knowing that really I was missing less work at my jobs than a whole week because of the holiday, and I planned to do some work for my dad from Micah’s house (thank you, Remote Desktop!). I got some cash from the ATM and went to the vending machine to snag myself a snack as I was rather hungry. Huh. Ok. So, the ATM only spits out $20s, but the vending machine only takes $1s. Dangnabbit.
The bus for Logan started boarding relatively shortly after this frustrating discovery, and I happily soon had a bottle of water and tiny bag of pretzels! Hooray!
Nourished, I was happy and settling in to the beginning of my journey. I speculated that really, to be happier the bottle of water should be beer and the bus movie should be Caddyshack. My friend suggested that I start a bus line that serves beer, pretzels and only shows Bill Murray movies. He is really good at million dollar ideas. I want this to happen so much.
I’ve not been in an airplane in quite a while, so I was having some anxiety about approved materials. I have that horrible barking cough that I get twice a year or so, but this time I thought I’d be super proactive and actually see a doctor at the beginning of my misery instead of after two months. Gotta love stoic New Englanders who figure they can shake it off or duct tape it back on! Anyway, I have prescription cough syrup in an amount less than 3.5 ounces, but in a 5 ounce container. I checked the TSA site and it said that it’s fine because it’s a prescription so it is a medically necessary liquid. And yet, anxiety.
Naturally, everything was fine. Logan was a breeze. I drank some cough syrup before I got on the flight so the people around me would not fear I would give them tuberculosis. Got on the very packed plane and my seat mate was very nice. Everything was great. I slept well, read some (Superpowered by James Schannep, which is a choose-your-own-adventure type book for adults. It is really fun.), and everything was fine until about 20 minutes before landing. The pressure in my ears was incredibly painful. See above for stoic New Englander, so I was trying to talk myself down, chastising myself for not being tougher, and then I remembered: YAWN, you ninny. One ear popped, then the other. I felt like a new person, like I was experiencing life for the first time. The things we forget when we haven’t flown in ages …
When I landed in Houston I discovered that my connecting flight was in another castle, so I got to ride a freaking monorail to my terminal. That was awesome, and I had the whole thing to myself. Woohoo!
My flight from Houston to Albuquerque was pleasantly uneventful. My seatmate was an eight year old boy named Jake (“My name is actually Jacob but most people call me Jake.”) who loves Pokemon and showed me all the ones he had collected and what they do and this fish one is pretty lame but when he levels up he will be so much better. I had indicated to his mom in conversation that I am from Maine, and Jake asked very earnestly as he was showing me Pokemon stats if I read English. I assured him that yes, we speak and read English in Maine. I slept much of the flight, and when we landed I found that Jake had, too, as he was sleeping leaned against me. I didn’t want to move, for his sweetness. He didn’t want to move, either, but mostly because he was a sleepy child and they are grumpy, immoveable people.
Finally I had arrived in New Mexico, and Micah was there waiting for me. I almost had a collision with Jake as he ran to meet his grandmother and I ran to meet my Micah. Micah is wonderful and he had my favorite kind of apple waiting for me in the car. I was so grateful and happy. After traveling all day, it was amazing to have this perfect token of comfort and love, and one of my favorite people in the whole world there with me.