Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Houston Texas - Flight number 416- Part 5

Once inside the departure area, i walked up to a kiosk so i could check in, entered my ticket number and got the following..." Im sorry, your flight time is too close for you to be able to check in". shit. "run Gabriel", and i ran out and called her back. "i cant check in. i missed my flight. its ok. what do i do?"...she was calm "go to the airline and check the next flight, ill turn around in case you need me to pick you up".

The only humans wearing Continental Uniforms where at the baggage check in area, so i went up to one and explained the situation. I dont know how it happened, but the dood checking in baggage managed to print my boarding pass, "hurry" he said. I ran to the TSA line, ironic i think. Shit. the line was packed and moving slow. shit. how much time did i have? checked the phone. no signal.

Being an engineer and a math geek, i quickly calculated the rate of change (the derivative of the line movement in respect to time) and found that i was figuratively screwed. I did not have enough time to make it. I asked the lady behind me for the time, "8:43" she said..."why" . I explained my dilemma and she suggested that i talk to the TSA officer who was walking around...umm yeah...no. But before I knew it, the lady flagged the agent down, and i found myself explaining the situation to the TSA agent, whose only suggestion was to politely cut in line. Great.

I managed to move five people ahead, but when i reached the sixth and gave her my whole speech about being late, she said " WERE LATE TOO!" and that was that..."i missed my flight, i need to buy another ticket, crap another night at the hotel.."

As i turned to leave the line, i saw the TSA pointing in my direction, she was with a man wearing a suit. they both approached me and the man (who was some sort of manager i suppose) asked me for my ID and Boarding Pass. Inside i was shaking uncontrollably, outside i had to remain calm. "you're running late huh?" yes sir i told him. "come with me" and just like that he escorted me to the TSA line where the pilots go through. "Youve got about ten minutes hurry".

This time the lady TSA agent that checked my passport smiled, she had a UV light to scan my ID, and she asked me about my visit. I told her how it amazed me that it had snowed here and how awesome it had been. she smiled, "ok hon, have a safe flight".

I didn't even tie my shoes or put my belt back on after going thru the Xray and metal detector machines. I ran. I ran like the McCallisters from home alone. I ran for what seemed like 4 blocks to gate 29. I ran through the crowds and swerved to not hit people with my carry on bag, which now weighed a ton.

When i got to my gate i could not breathe...I handed my pass to the stewardess and she said "ok darling you made it". I was the last one on the plane. I called her to let her know i was alright. She cried.

It was there, on the plane, where it all hit me. The magnitude of what had happened and was still happening. I won't lie. My emotions got the best of me. I tilted my head back, took a deep breath and felt my racing heart.

During the flight back my mind was cluttered with thoughts, memories, ideas, songs and what not.

I fell in love with a beautiful fantasy. And i got to live this fantasy for four days. But fantasies end as reality welcomes us with open arms.

I grew a lot on this trip. I learned a lot as well. I learned that sometimes, you have to let fantasies be just that, fantasies. And I learned you have to let them go.

5 comments:

  1. oooh sorry, i must correct you! you called and I was crying and you said "i can't check in, come pick me up!" to what i said "what?! why... i'm sorry! it was my fault..." and then you explained the kiosk message and i told ya to go talk to them :P <3

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  2. Haha, this has happened to me about twice -- yes TSA lets you cut in line, LOL. And I always make it. Great that you went through this experience as well. Though I won't wish it on anyone.

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  3. Reading this was great I felt like was there watching from far away.
    Thank you for sharing this.

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  4. I bet you thought you were going to get deported when you saw the TSA and the other guy pointing at you, eh? That's why I don't fly...that and the lack of a place to go outside California.

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