3:30 on Thursday morning I stood outside of my house in Oakland waiting for the Super Shuttle.
I packed a mere 40 minutes before and I cutout the full shower and just focused on the face splash and teeth brushing so I could squeeze in my vitamins.
My 6 am flight to Houston from OAK would bring me a half-continent closer to my titi and my mom and my hometown.
I haven't seen my mom since her house burned down in February.
And these last two weeks after seeing friends from out of town I have been really missing my mother.
In speaking with Titi Ana last week to confirm flight information it finally became real that I would see Mami and bonus for this trip I would also see my Titi and my Abuelita in the same go. Double bonus? My cousin Mario is in NYC as well.
As I boarded my Continental flight I notice that they may have the most narrow seats in the air. Since Americans have increased in size as of late, it seems they have not followed the trend well and for the sake of sardining folks in to maximize their gas dollar, everyone gets to sit uncomfortably.
I made the best of my aisle seat: my right elbow hung off the arm rest and my seatmate to the front leaned the chair back so that when I used my laptop it practically sat atop my breasts. Needless to say, I was a bit squeezed.
After puttering a bit on the laptop I opted for sleep. I pulled out my fuzzy, paisley, purple blanket and buckwheat pillow and nodded. Hours later my row mates tapped my shoulder to use the facilities and were 30 minutes from landing.
This time I was not privvy to the George Bush statue and alcove.
Clearly the creator is merciful.
I did have a friendly encounter awaiting lunch with a gentleman entrepreneur who spoke of losing millions on one business and working to recoup from another business he had started.
Our server was a dymamic young woman who had a friendly call as she served up slices and entertained us weary travelers. I appreciated that she was so upbeat. It softened my brow and I enjoyed my decent cheese pizza with fresh basil and tomato slices.
I also paid $2.09 cents for water. Yikes. Nestlecorp seems to have purchased every water source on the planet. And they are charging top dollar for it.
I continued walking to my gate and noticed on a departure screen that there was a NYC flight departing an hour earlier than my scheduled flight. Hrm...
"It doesn't hurt to ask," I thought.
I headed into to Customer Service, asked if there was room, and sure enough there was. EXCELLENT! An hour sooner meant I might be able to get a run in tonight.
The sun was bright in Houston. The planes gleamed. I was half-way to seeing my mami.
I arrived at my gate and power poached at an outlet beneath the TTY keyboard by a public telephone.
I heard some Spanish. An older Afro-Peruvian woman and a young Meztiza-Puerto Rican woman were discussing using the telephone. The Peruvian woman needed to call her family and the Puerto Rican woman offered it to her, no problem. The Peruvian woman blessed her for her generosity and the Puerto Rican woman graciously said "Of course."
I thought of how we make connections with language, we hispanohablantes. Somehow I don't always feel the same with my English-speaking fellow beings. I can hear a Spanish affect to an English pronunciation, switch to Spanish and suddenly a connection appears. It's awesome.
My new flight was delayed and would land only a half-hour before the original flight.
I sat and watched an older woman's belongings as she went to find some water.
Then we cattle were called after the Elite customers and customers needing extra assistance.
I smiled as I made my way to my window seat. I shared a row with an older couple dressed in smart spring clothes. Beautiful spring greens.
I brought out my blanket and pillow again and crossword puzzle book.
No real desire to solve puzzles I switched to Backgammon on the Mac and the Sun god kicked my butt from a lucky roll.
Then they announced the movie: Music and Lyrics or something featuring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.
Wow. Time to sleep, 2 hours later: Welcome to La Guardia Airport!