check delays.

when i got to sea-tac tuesday night, the check-in lady said, "there's a slight delay. your plane will now be taking off at 12:45 a.m., and you should be in sacramento by 2 p.m." i thought she was kidding. she had a serious look on her face, and i was waiting for the punchline. "just kidding!" but, no. she was serious. what could i do? meagan had just driven away. i figured i could wait three more hours for my flight.

i got to waiting. as it turned out, my plane was coming from chicago, and chicago was getting a nasty snowstorm. i sat around and tried to get on the internet, but sea-tac doesn't provide wireless internet. i had the option of signing on through at&t wireless, but for $7.99, and it would only last for twenty-four hours. there was no way i was gonna pay that. i tried to read my book of short stories, karma, a book jaspreet lent me, but i was worried about the delay that i couldn't focus on it.

a man started to scream. he was saying something loudly and in a different language. everyone was watching him, waiting for him to pull out a gun or something. instead, he continued his screams, then he got face-down on the floor, as though he had passed out. some bystanders came up to him, asking him if he was alright. he wouldn't move. it was like a scene from that radiohead video for "just." what the hell was he doing? suddenly, he got up on his knees, raised his arms in the air, and started bowing down, as though he were praying. none of the travelers, i'm sure, enjoyed this bit at all.

two white guys i sat next to were talking about the incident in progress. "what the fuck is he doing?" "i don't know, he's probably drunk." "he's crazy is what he is." when the cops arrived, one of the white men remarked, "it took the cops fifteen minutes to show up." the cops appeared to be talking to the man, and at this point, a clerk announced that my flight would not leave until 2 a.m. now. it wasn't a grand announcement, either. it was kind of a hush-hush thing, and i had to go up to the counter to ask for verification. "did i hear right? that we're leaving at 2.m. now?" "yes," she said, "your new e.t.a. will be about 4:30. sorry for the inconvenience."

yes, a major inconvenience, and yet, southwest still didn't offer me a voucher or discount or anything. "we have some light refreshments for you behind the counter at b-10," they kept saying. "some cokes and some crackers." i thought of a line from the first season of the wire: "motherfucker tried to pimp me out with a candy bar." while i decided i could wait another three hours for my flight, five was just too much. i called up john to come get me.

on wednesday morning, my flight was delayed again, but this time, only for an hour. what the fuck, i thought. this isn't denver. we don't get blizzards. get me to the airport, get me on a plane. hurry, hurry, hurry, before i go insane. i talked to a black man waiting in line to board with me. "did i hear that you were supposed to go out last night?" i asked. "no," he said, "i was supposed to go out tonight, but my car was covered in snow this morning, and i thought, 'i'd better get out of here before i get stuck.'" he lives in everett, and his daughter lives in sac. i would've made conversation, but we both hung back. a little redheaded boy ran crazy, as though he were possessed with a.d.d.

when i got to sac, i went christmas shopping with byron. i tried to find the nerf vulcan for my cousin, but all the stores were sold out. "it's a popular toy," the girl clerk from target told me. no shit. i'm twenty-five and i want it. i decided i'd just get gifts from the philippines and bring them back. i'm hoping to find manny pacquiao and kc concepcion shirts for people. maybe little jeepney toys and men in barrels. i don't know what's cracking these days on the other side of the world. but i'm going to see jun-jun, aileen, jo-jo, jam, uncle ramon - all these people who i have not seen in thirteen years.

been a long time, cousin.

1 comment:

beastmomma said...

I am glad that you got out of Seattle safely. I DID NOT make my plane today. First, I got rescheduled for tomorrow. Then, I changed my flight to Saturday. Hopefully, I will get out of here on time.