And he just sat there and cried into his steak.

411: Changing planes in Charlottesville…

I’ve been traveling for 12 days.

I left 12 days ago to go to Boston to see Sarah, and then I got the funeral call. When I left the funeral, it was Wednesday, and I thought it silly to fly back to DC and then fly up to Boston 12 hours later, so I just went to Boston a day early.

I forgot I was going to spend today in Orlando on business. Around the end of last week it hit me that I wasn’t going home on Sunday.

So now, 12 days out, the same three changes of clothes heavily washed and worn, I’m sitting in an airport restaurant eating dinner and killing a few hours until my plane leaves. There’s nothing to do in Orlando that won’t make me late for my plane, so I’m eating dinner really slowly.

Airports are depressing places because everyone is polite without being particularly friendly. If you spent a lot of time in airports (I mean, even more than I do now) I suspect it would start to get to you. You can see the guys on whom this lifestyle has taken it’s toll parked in the airport in waiting areas, restaurants, and of course, the bar. They’re the ones calling home asking if the kid has done their homework, but they don’t actually know what the homework is. If you left just for a day, you’ve got a pretty good idea what subjects your kid is studying right now at school. Also, every other sentence on this half of the conversation is, “I’ll be home soon, honey. Do what your mother says.”

I watched Dispossessed Traveling Guy call his kids, then order a steak in the Hyatt restaurant in Orlando. He specifically asked for there not to be blue cheese on it. Apparently he’s allergic, or perhaps he just has good taste. The steak arrived with blue cheese on it, and the waittress didn’t notice. He just sat there and put his head in his hands, moistening his steak while salting it at the same time. After I stopped watching him, he probably headed out onto the tarmac to put his head in a turbine.

Although I’m not suicidal, I can relate. I made it as far as Day 12 while changing planes in Atlanta. You know the Atlanta airport, right? The last airport you’ll visit is Atlanta, changing planes on your way to Hell. (Your luggage will end up in Denver for eternity, of course)

I’m sitting on the floor, next to an outlet charging my laptop, digging through my bag when I see a bright red and green thing. I pull it out for a closer look and BOOM. Like Christopher Reeve pulling out a penny and ruining his life in Somewhere in Time (go rent it), I realize I’m holding a piece of
Hagrid’s favorite tennis ball, and suddenly I’m dispossessed.

Hagrid won’t miss the fuzz, but I’m keeping it for him, just in case.