Friday, March 6, 2009

There's No Place Like Home: Act III

If you haven't read Part I yet, you can find it here.

Act III – Tuesday, March 3, 2009

“How the fuck am I not home yet?” – Me, that morning

Scene I – Cincinnati Holiday Inn/Cincinnati Airport

I managed to get some sleep, having a strange dream about my cousin’s children that involved spilled donuts, before waking up at 4:35 to catch the 5:30 shuttle to the airport. I’m glad I gave myself all that time, because I’m pretty sure I fell asleep for a few 2-3 minute snatches while in the shower. I made my way downstairs to check out, and on the way, after a piece of muzak heard the Rae & Christian remix of Dinah Washington’s “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” which kind of made my morning. (Listen here.) The airport was largely empty, which made sense when I learned that our flight was the first of the day. (I know there’s no reason for that to be a source of pride, but in my semi-delirious state, I did in fact puff up a bit upon hearing this.) As I walked down the stretch to my gate, that awful James Taylor song where he’s all, “Shower the people you love with love/show them the way that you feel,” played, and it took me back to childhood car rides where my parents would play that tape, and for a bit, I was almost comforted. But then Foo Fighters came on, and moment ruined.

Scene II. Flight from Cincinnati to Detroit

On the plane, I sat next to a nice hospital administrator named Mohammed who had an even worse travel story than me; he had been trapped in Denver the night before, and then Cincinnati, all in an effort to get from Las Vegas to Buffalo. We chatted briefly, and it struck me as odd that he seemed reluctant to say the word Detroit; instead, he kept calling it “Motown.” (Ex: "I would sure hate to get stuck in Motown. Not much to do in Motown.") For the first time in a while (I’m generally not awake in time for such events), I saw a sunrise, and while it was through streaks of de-icing fluid, it was still quite beautiful. As we neared Detroit, the sunlight reflected off of factories directly on Lake Michigan spewing large plumes of smoke, and although still horrified, I took some solace in knowing I was home.

Scene III. Detroit Airport/Bus to Ann Arbor/HOME

At the airport, I had to wait a couple hours before I could catch my bus back to Ann Arbor, so I deliberately took it slow as a test of my patience. (I’ll usually walk as fast as I can even when I have no destination.) I had to walk through this large tunnel at the airport I wasn’t aware existed; strange music played while lights on the wall flashed in time with various musical occurrences, which was rather trippy in my overtired state. I remember thinking it was like a demented Space Mountain fun house.

Someone else's video of the tunnel:

I then sat, called several friends trying to find someone to pick me up in Ann Arbor, and tried not to pass out. The bus arrived, I got on, I fell asleep, I got dropped off, a friend picked me up, and then I was home. Never had I been so excited to be back in Michigan.

In the process of traveling home, I used the following forms of transit: subway, commuter train, airport shuttle (three times!), airplane, charter bus, and private vehicle. Not to mention all the walking. And now, I will never travel again. Ya'll are gonna have to come to me.


Jasse said...

That. sounds. positively hellish. Bravo for surviving. Braaavo.


Eric said...

1) James Taylor is cool, and that song isn't "awful"

2) The tunnel looks crazy!!!

Mike Wright said...

Excellent training for TAR, no?