The alarm, ugh. It’s dark. The cat has my feet pinned under the covers. I reach to turn off the noise. Don’t fall back to sleep. Only an hour to get out the door. My toes hit the carpet and I fumble to don a sweatshirt and pants.
The house is cold as I lower myself down the stairs. Through the windows the cars look frozen. I tap the thermostat to awaken the furnace. The screen says it’s thirty outside. Was a cloudless night.
I try to be quiet. Breakfast on autopilot. I hear my wife in the bathroom upstairs. The cat shows his face. What the heck, dude? He’s not happy about the suitcases.
Ten minutes to go. Start the car to clear the windows. Load the bags. Check stuff. Lock up. Gone. On time.
The interstate is moving fine. Not for long. Will hit the city at rush hour. Pit stop. Back on the highway, then stop. Go. Stop. We crawl along. Did we leave enough time?
Lot nearly full. The entry system doesn’t work right. Why can’t people park in the lines? Full shuttle bus. Luggage everywhere.
Check in is easy. TSA decides we are harmless. Whew. The gate is peaceful. We wait.
One last pee and then into the first metal tube. On time. Yay.
Easy gate change. Grab a sandwich. More waiting. Some people dress so oddly. You pee first, I’ll watch the stuff. Into the next metal tube. It’s full. Of course. We back away on time. Yay.
Why did we parked over here? We wait. Twenty minutes. Engines cease. Uh oh. “Sorry folks, computer issues. Have to reboot. Be on our way soon.” Engines start.
Twenty minutes. Engines cease. Uh oh, part two. “Sorry folks. One more test requested. Will be on our way soon.” Engines start.
Twenty minutes more. “Looks good folks. Almost done with the paperwork.” Did these seats get harder and smaller? The ground falls away.
Seven hours is forever trapped in a plastic seat designed with comfort as the last priority. At least we both downloaded movies. What do you mean your movie disappeared? Who knows? We can watch mine. It won’t start. Bad download.
I’ll take a nap. … But my light won’t turn off. Seriously. I’ll have orange juice, thanks.
The thrill is gone. No wonder I’ve grown to love hikes in the forest.