(Let me preface this blog by saying "I'm sorry" for not posting in such a ridiculously long time. I have not had internet and feel horrible for not updating all those I love. I am alive. And well. And ready to tell you my stories. Once upon a time...)
The time has finally come and I’ve departed for Florence via plane. If you were wondering, yes, I did eventually pack, but it was an exhausting experience I don’t wish to repeat any time soon. I took two huge suitcases, a backpack (stuffed with socks and books), my camera bag and another small boarding bag. I couldn’t look more like an American tourist navigating these huge beasts through three different airports, but what’s done is done. Yikes. At least I finally made it out of the house though, departing at 1 p.m. Monday with my Dad (making random business calls for his work while en route to the airport) and pulling in to Pittsburgh International near 4 p.m.
(I’d like to insert a quick observation here: never before have I seen so many people crying and hugging in one place (besides a funeral), but I suppose not everyone is flying to beautiful things hundreds of miles away. Che triste.)
Emotions aside, one bowl of cream of broccoli soup and sauerkraut hotdog later, I was passing through airport security and being frisked by men who looked all too familiar with touching their passengers. I was clean, if there were any reason to ever worry I wouldn’t be? But my assumption lends on the side that red heads usually aren’t terroristic in nature. However, I did have to open my carry-on for all the cologne bottles I’d expertly packed away. And after a pair of gloved hands dislodged the entire thing, I had a second chance at re-packing everything. Lucky me.
Some hours later, I board the plane, fly to Philadelphia and live to talk about the experience. Afterwards, I run through the Philadelphia Airport (sweat pouring all over my body because of the heat and my worrying I was going to miss the flight – I was two hours early mind you) only to sit for another hour with hundreds of other pissed off, sweaty people. But there is a silver lining as they say, because this is the part where I wolf down a McDonalds hamburger (even though I never eat there) and make friendly with a girl serving in the U.S. Navy as an MP, stationed in Madrid. She was nice and told me I should travel to Spain. Maybe I will. I also had to check my small carry-on, which was a tender goodbye, seeing as how it held all my extra clothes if the other two checked bags were ever somehow mysteriously lost (as they always seem to get for people). It appears my backpack and camera were the only two items allowed. Bogus, but I didn’t want to start a ruckus, seeing as how being frisked by one unfriendly airport employee was enough to last me a lifetime. Nevertheless, I conceded and went to board, sitting by the window (which I presumed was mine). Yet to my surprise, a woman (speaking in a mix between British and Spanish accents) told me in proper form I was in fact sitting in her spot. I reluctantly slid over and she moved in.
Verity was her name. Not virginity, or vanity, or even variety (as some people like to call her). But alas, if you can’t pronounce Verity (VER-IH-TEE), simply refer to her as “Susan,” the name she provides to people who need a little “aide.” Verity from Mallorca I call her and we chatted for some time about the following topics:
-The separation of first class passengers and coach by way of some smoky gray, translucent curtain
-Our favorite plays/playwrights (she did drama and preferred Henrik Ibsen, whereas I like a good Sam Shepard play)
-Favorite composers (mine, Handel, hers, a combination church hymn and Mozart twofer)
-Yoga (she would at times exit her seat and head for the rear of our lumbering plane, only to perform certain moves I Imagine included the downward dog, etc.)
-Meditation and the meaning of life (this is where it got deep and we agreed people enjoy being negative far too much, concurring it’s as if it they get some sick pleasure from it)
-And countless other mementos that occupied our seven-hour flight, including Sudoku, people watching and bonding over tea served from Styrofoam cups.
However, after nearly an exhausting flight, complete with a bit of light-heatedness, shitty plane food and watching “Baby Mama” (*Bitch I don’t know your life! WooWooOO!*) I touched down in Spain, more than ready to reach my final destination. Verity and I parted ways of course (after she invited me to stay with her any time this semester on her organic farm/ranch in Mallorca, complete with cats, a huge garden and scenic panoramic views) and I boarded my last plane.