Arrivals and departures
Yeah, we know them so well
Oh, from sleeping and dreaming
On the baggage carousel
We know every step and every crack
Every scene leading to the final act
Every comic trick
Circling back, back, back….
~ Something for Kate, Washed Out to Sea
The course of true love never runs smooth. This came home to me upon my arrival at San Francisco International Airport. I had not been in the US more than ninety minutes and already my trip was to be delayed by ten interminably long hours.
From the moment my journey had begun, I was beset by delays. The late arrival of my flight from Melbourne in to Sydney had delayed the departure of the international leg by just long enough that, by the time I’d passed through the excruciating immigration checks at San Fran, I had missed my connection to Philly. The earliest replacement flight the airline could get me on was not until late evening and it was currently ten in the morning; groan.
My planned arrival at Philadelphia Airport, where Jersey girl was waiting for me, had been around ten pm on Friday night. Now I was going to be touching down around five am on Saturday.
Fortunately, we’d booked a hotel room at the airport as we’d suspected neither of us would probably sleep a wink before our big moment – true in both our cases as it transpired – so at least she had somewhere comfortable to wait (or restlessly pace).
I, on the other, hand spent those lost hours wandering aimlessly around the alien environment of San Fran Airport (I’m exhausted just thinking about it now). I should probably mention I don’t sleep on planes…at all. By the time I shuffled down the concourse at Philly towards those doors of no return, I’d been awake for over thirty-six hours (longer if you count the near sleepless night I’d had before setting off).
Anyway, in due course, I did indeed step through those doors (the ones with the sign that literally reads “you cannot return through these doors”) and there she was …n’t?
I found myself in another corridor – devoid of life – and no Jersey girl. Hmm. Nonplussed, I decided to track down the baggage carousel. Perhaps she was waiting for me there?
No, as it turned out, but my bag popped up on cue and so, feeling lost, but frankly too exhausted to get a real panic going, I schlepped, zombie-like, back to the corridor I’d originally expected to find her in.
And there she was.