I woke at 5:41 this morning, opening my eyes and making my unhappiest face at the numbers glowing in green on my digital clock. I patted Chienne and she lifted her head to blink at me blearily.
"We have to take out the garbage and go for a walk," I told her, forcing myself the rest of the way awake. "I need to pick an outfit and do something with my hair." I paused and pulled a strand upward so I could view it, sighing when it waved wildly as it tends to do when I sleep with it wet. "Pack my laptop bag," I continued, "and put in eye drops. Drive to the airport... We need to get up."
We moved around the neighborhood in our pajamas and collar, respectively, and carried recycling and trash bags to the curb. I pondered, briefly, blowing off my trip but decided I was a big girl and could do my job. Just like I did all week. Even though it was rather sucky.
But after an uneventful flight and a taxi ride into the city where everyone knows the street names, I found the focus of my attention and spent the day working fairly pleasantly. I accomplished what I hoped to do and busily checked things off my list just as I had replied to all emails on the plane - neatly arranging my inbox into the pristine condition I so enjoy.
I was feeling rather good about myself as I walked out of the building. I nearly preened with how productive and effective I was this week. I did dreadfully hard things (well, not really - just in the perspective of how easy my life normally is) and prevailed. Even though I would have rather napped. Or played games. Or flirted online.
And then I tried to catch a cab. Apparently around the time they change shifts. And it seemed all of the yellow suckers had their off-duty lights on and I started to feel like it was my romantic life (doomed to failure) rather than part of my professional duties (which tend to go well). And I walked, watching the numbers grow smaller on street signs perched on corners. So after walking some 15 blocks, I turned around and - with no small amount of relief - joined a line for taxis that I found.
I overtipped the one that pulled over ($35 for a $20 fare) but his gratitude was no match for mine. I had conquered the mean New Yorkers and their yellow vehicles and arrived safely at the airport. After having a leisurely dinner and spending some time looking at books, I waited in line at security.
"Do you have an early flight?" the man ahead of me asked and I shook my head, thinking he must not be from here.
"Seven," I replied and smiled as we inched forward.
"It's busy," he noted and I nodded in agreement.
"I waited much longer than normal at home this morning too," I told him. "I think people must be taking vacations - they seemed happier than the business folks that normally occupy the plane." And I was unsurprised when he said he was returning to Kansas in about an hour.
But I was still... if not chipper, then at least quietly content. Until the man announced that 7 had been delayed until 10. At which point I said bad, bad words in my head and cursed the airline and weather and whatever the hell was keeping the plane from being here and getting me home.
Love, frustration and some residual fear -
New York, NY