I’m on a plane right now. Like right now (Tuesday, 7/25/17, 2:44 PST). Well, maybe you’ll read this because I will be on the ground. But if you imagine my hair flying in the wind and my face looking taut, you’re thinking of me in my best light. That’s how I like it.
I’m on my way to New York and Connecticut to see my family and friends. I booked the flight a week ago because it was the best rate of the summer. This triggered some dominoes: haircut, highlights, finish articles for my freelance clients, hold on pitching articles to editors, ramp up my chapter a day pace and convince my TV writing teacher to let me switch to the online class.
Nailed all of it.
On Monday, I cleaned. Did all the laundry. Gave Linky a bath. Made sure I had enough of his food for boarding. Ate all of my perishable food. Watched everything on my DVR. I pulled out a bunch of stuff, but wasn’t packing until the am. I have a nervous nelly for a best friend and no need to stress him out. He is the Head of Lincoln Bureau of Investigations so he did know something was up, which lead to a 4:30am vomit sesh on our freshly laundered sheets.
This should’ve been a sign.
In the morning, I rewashed the sheets, packed, ate the last of the perishable food and typed up all of my TV class notes so I didn’t need to bring an extra notebook. Did I mention I got through all of my email? Champion.
Nervous and Sad Nelly Linky and I left two and a half hours before my flight. I dropped Linky at his daycare two hours before my flight. I had to explain his meals, which took 20 minutes. Then I stopped at a coffee shop a) for coffee and b) to use the restroom because I was so nervous about my dog son that my innards needed to express themselves.
I had to hustle to LAX and because they seem to be repaving every road in Los Angeles, this took longer than expected. It said 35 minutes, which would be getting me to LAX just ten minutes before my flight boarded. As I drove like Mario Andretti in fear for his life, my tire monitoring system said back rear tire was low. I WAS LIKE, “OMG, NOT TODAY MOTHERFUCKING TIRE.”
I pulled off at the nearest gas station and asked a guy to help me. He said he thought it would be okay. I got back in the car, prayed to my angels and guides to get me there, and drove like Mario Andretti on meth with three guns to his head. I pulled into the parking lot ten minutes before my flight started boarding, which was 50 minutes before it was scheduled to leave.
I got a great spot, ran to the shuttle and tried deep breathing techniques to keep me from having a panic attack. I got to my terminal five minutes after my flight started boarding. I don’t have a printer and didn’t have my boarding pass printed. They told me that without the printout, they had to shift me to the next flight. I felt dejected, but since it wouldn’t cost anything extra I accepted my fate.
I got through security in ten minutes, which was twenty minutes before my flight left. I slipped getting to my stuff on the conveyer belt because the floor is slippery, my socks were clean and the terrorists have really made traveling inconvenient. Every time an average American needs to take their shoes off and limit their toiletries to what can be fit in a sandwich bag, they laugh. I know they do.
I grabbed my stuff, checked to see which gate my original flight was leaving from and booked it like Usain Bolt running for the biggest gold medal plus a billion dollars. It was the farthest gate, but I was going to get there or die trying.
As I took two steps at a time on the escalator, I heard them call, “blah blah, some other guy, Kerry Quinn, some other unfortunate soul….” I pushed it to the gate to the point one of the people checking tickets moved back in case I couldn’t stop in time and tackled him with the sheer force of my body.
“Oh if they moved you….” the gate check with a New Zealand accent said.
“11F!” I shouted.
“Print it,” she instructed one of the other gate checkers, who must be her minion.
And then I had it: the golden ticket. It was 1:18. I walked down the catwalk like an out of breath Naomi Campbell. I had 12 minutes before takeoff. Breezy.
And now I’m on the plane. A little sweaty. A little frazzled. A little wiser.
But still, my hair is blowing in the and my face looks taut. Swearsies.
P.S. Pray my tire isn’t flat when I get back. K, thanks, Bye.