We’ve Interrupted This Broadcast…

….To bring you an important announcemt.  So “The White Moth” is on hold just for one post, I’ll get the next part of the story up soon, but I had to blog about this;

Last night Julius and I went to an annual Christmas party of two friends of his- one of who happens to be my dentist.  They have a fantastic home, done in a very grand and very elegant style…heck they even have TWO full sized grand pianos.  Needless to say, that’s enough to make me drool, but the food is fantastic and the liquor is great too.  We pulled up to the vallet around 9:30, went in, said our hello’s to the hosts and mingled.

I went up to the bar and ordered my usual red wine, completely forgetting that I probably should stay sober for the sake of my morning flight.  I’m probably one of the youngest people here, but that doesn’t bother me, the atmosphere is much more my taste than the usual parties we get invited to.

The bartender hands me my glass of red wine.

“Good Lord!”  I exclaim, Julius’ back turned, he looks at me.

“What?”

“Do you see this?  It’s …it’s….I’m surprised there’s not a fish in here!”

In case you didn’t get that, the glass was HUGE….three more of those later, we’re home and I’m pretty drunk.  I have to be up in 4 hours in order to get to the airport.  I close my eyes for a moment, and the next thing I know, my alarm’s going off.  Ugh, I’m in a not so nice place inbetween drunk and hungover.  I debate how much I really need to go home for Christmas, wondering if my mother really would come down here and bring me up by the hair of my chin…I decide it’s best not to test her and get ready.  By the time I’m finished getting ready I think I feel better, then I snap at Julius for no reason and realize that, no, I don’t.

The drive to the airport was inconsequential, so I assumed that checking my bag would be as well.  The last time I came home for Christmas the airport was nearly empty, no such luck this time.  Lines to my left, lines to my right, lines right in my line of sight…oy, this is gonna be LONG.

Go to this line, no that line, no not that line, no come with me, no you can’t come with me, you go there, no don’t go there, go THERE.  That pretty much sums up my first 15 minutes at the airport.  Now I’m not exactly a novice at flying, I’ve racked up about 30k miles in flights this year, but when all of your lines are going out of the door of the airport, all the rules go out the window.

Ok, so I’m finally in line, everyone is in a sour mood and I very nearly decide to join them.  Then I realize, HEY, I’m headed home for Christmas, I get to see Yolanda’s House of Chintz and…well to be frank, my hangover lifted.  So I start humming Christmas carols.  People look at me, look away – feels like I’m in NYC already.  It’s 6:30am, my flight boards in 15 minutes.  At this rate I’ll just make it.

I give up humming and start actually singing Happy Holidays…it’s one of my favorites.  I look around, smiling like a fool, singing, hoping for a Hollywood turn of events where everyone around me starts singing along with me and we all have a jolly good time….yeah, so that didn’t happen.  Oh well, I was still cheerful and trying to make sure all of the service staff I came in contact with got some cheer from me.

Finally I check my bag, 20lbs under requirement and Continental no longer charges for the first bag if you have one of their debit or credit cards, YAY!  The security check is rather quick moving, which is shocking, you’d think (and hope) that people took more time to make sure that the flights would be secure than they do checking your ratty old luggage.

I’m finally close to pushing my things into the big radioactive box and stepping through the plastic metal dectector, when the line stops.  A woman with an autistic child is having an issue getting him to go through the detector, and you cannot go through WITH someone.  The kid is flipping out, all my cheer drains out of me as I mentally flip to the chapters I’ve read on autism, but before I can think any further we’re moving again.  I get through the dectector, but they stop all my bags to inspect them.  It never fails.  I look Arabic and clearly all individuals of Arabic decent are trouble…ugh, I tell ya.

Oh well, I’m through and back to singing Christmas Carols and…wait…what’s that?  There’s someone else singing!  And they’re singing LOUDLY!  There’s a stage!  Christmas Karaoke!  Chrismas Elves!  Oh My God!  There are people singing and being cheerful in the airport- they’re employees, but anyone can sing.  It turns out that this was a spontanious idea of some of the people who work at the airport in order to bring better spirits into the terminal.  It’s so exciting!

Ok enough cheer, I gotta motor or I’m gonna miss my flight!  I’m at gate C29, and there’s a sign pointing towards gate C29 through 39, great!  That should mean the 29 is the first one…nope, wrong.  C29 is the LAST one….gotta go gotta go gotta go right now!

Finally I get to the gate, and I have to sit down, my back is killing me from my shoes and backpack.  I roll my ticket around in my fingers, excited that I have an exit row seat with no seat in front of me.  I recall reading in a book about Continental that Gordon Bethune, former CEO, always made sure he was last on the plane because, heck, why bother being first, it just means you’re going to be sitting in that seat that much long.  I realize the sense of this and decide to get on last.

The plane is running late, but bording is going quickly.  I’m standing just inside the door, two passengers in front of me when I see the gate agent come down the jetway.  I offer to step back so she can speak to the Flight Attendants, but she declines.  She steps in behind me as we move forward in line, and I hear the following.

“Hey, what’s up?”  Asks the Attendant

“We got a guy who didn’t check in, so we’re oversold by one.”

My ears perk.

“I need to make an offer announcement.”

I turn around and smile, trying to beam some cheer.

“What kind of offer?”
“A first class ticket on the 12:30 flight…”

I almost say sold, but she goes on.

“And $300 to use for travel, anytime on Continental or Northwest.”

“SOLD!” I shout, right glad that I didn’t jump the gun on it and that I was last on the plane.

When I get back to the check in desk outside of the gate, I’m even happier that I took the offer; the person who forgot to check is looks to be a college student and he seems pretty distressed, afraid he wont’ get home.

“Hey, enjoy the flight, it’s an exit row seat.”

“Thank you.”

“Enjoy the holidays.”  I say.

So here I sit at Bush Intercontinental, waiting for my afternoon flight

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The White Moth, Part I

The moth fluttered and flapped its white, powdered wings with the severity of a wounded man.  Jackson could never comprehend why after so many years of evolution, if man could stand up erect—well, if he wanted to that is—that a moth, a simple creature of God, could not yet learn the difference between a light-bulb or a window from that of the true outdoors.
He had been watching the moth partaking in his death dance for about an hour, not having anything better to do at home.  Television was obtuse, books were monotonous and the profound humidity of his family’s country hometown was so choking that Jackson had the air conditioner up to “artic-tundra” in an attempt to bequest upon him some form of release.  It took all of Jackson’s energy to stay awake, but one of his pups, Ophelia had already lost that battle.
“That’s it,” Jackson blurted out as he got up, rather clumsily, from his prostrate position on the couch. He had grown rather tired of the moth.
He knew that eventually he’d get up and carry out this mission.  It was just a matter of time—promptness was not a virtue.  He clomped over the hardwood floors, making them creak and moan, as well as causing shelves to shudder, making his way to the kitchen-table lamp.  Slowly and with precision he raised his hands around the lamp, keeping a distance just far enough from the moth so as not to scare it off.  Jackson could feel the heat of the four minor light bulbs—individually they weren’t very hot, but thrown together they could create enough heat to burn yourself.  Then, with a snap of his hands, Jackson quickly clamped his cupped palms around the mislaid creature.
The diminutive white creature beat its wings harder against Jackson’s “trap,” not realizing that this comparative giant was trying to help it.

“Thank God.  You’ve been annoying me forever.”  Then, dimwittedly, Jackson moved in a way that landed the back of his right hand directly against two light bulbs.
“Ow damn it!”  He screamed, stomping his foot, causing the glasses concealed in the cabinets to shudder and shake together, sounding a song of high-pitched tones.  As rapidly as it arose, his brief outburst disappeared, and he made his way over to the sliding doors opposite the kitchen table.  Lithely, Jackson slipped through the door to the back porch and threw the moth up into the air, unable to see its line of flight, but sure that it had gotten as far away from him as possible.

The night was black as pitch. The brightest light came from the stars—Jackson detested it.  The one thing he loathed most was having to come out here, leaving his own haven in the city to visit his parents—he had had an adequate amount of corn fields, cows, and mosquitoes by the time he had moved out five years ago.  Just as he was making his way back inside, Jackson heard a dog barking madly—he had forgotten about his other dog.

“Hamlet!”  Jackson yelled out, waiting for the dog to make his wild appearance with a flourish befitting a Great Dane, leaping up the porch and nearly knocking down Jackson in the process.
Instead, the barking persisted for a few more moments, and then silence fell across the Lakeland again.
“Hamlet!”  Jackson yelled out again, this time getting irritated, cursing himself for getting a puppy.  He had no choice but to go off and find the dog.  His father would have told him to let the damn thing come home on its own, but Jackson was just like an overprotective father is to his daughter on prom night.
As he stepped of the back porch and into the verdant grass, a spray of water flew up and around his calves, water from the earlier rain.  He walked along the side of the house, passing by the small garden that he had started when he was 17, and his grandmother promptly took over when she got sick.  His mother couldn’t let go of it once she had died.  The floodlight on the garage snapped on, filling the driveway to his right with white, blinding light and revealing his old, dilapidated blue Jeep.  Then, without any warning whatsoever, the light snapped off, leaving Jackson in the dark once again, when Hamlet started barking again.

“Ugh, damn this stupid dog.  Hamlet!” He yelled out in one last attempt to get the dog to appear.  Then, out of nowhere, a large thunderbolt struck somewhere far off in the distance, when Hamlet charged Jackson, knocking him to the ground, his head landing on the end of the driveway, the rest of him on the lawn.
With a loud crack and a thud, Jackson’s vision went red and his head throbbed in inexorable pain. His clothing quickly became soaked through and through with rain-water from the lawn.  Hamlet whined and barked at Jackson, trying to wake him up. Finally when he started to moan with pain, Hamlet started to lick his face and slowly Jackson was welcomed back into the real world.

“Damn it, my head, you stupid dog.”

Hamlet started to bark again, and Jackson winced at the loud noise as it echoed throughout his head.  Before Jackson could gather himself Hamlet, started to wander towards the back of the yard and the woods that bordered the house.  Lightning kept striking around him, warning of a storm about to be released upon their small village.
“Hamlet, get back here!”  Jackson struggled to his feet and tried to catch up to the resistant canine.  From inside the house he could hear Ophelia start barking out of the living room window.  Finally, Jackson grabbed a hold of Hamlet’s collar and pulled with enough force to cause the dog to begin to growl, but Hamlet quickly quieted himself.  Jackson struggled to get the dog back to the house, but he kept barking towards the woods and whimpering.

Why So Silent Good Monsieur?

Hello all!  So sorry for the viel of silence, just a quick update for you all.  I’ve been crazy busy with work and trying to get all of my applications for school in – I swear trying to get all of this information complete, the transcripts, the letters, the applications, is more difficult for a PhD program than any other program I’ve applied for!  I am also returning to New Jersey for ten day (TEN DAYS!) on the 21st of December.  Stay tuned for some new posts, one regaling you all with the story of Turkey Day and others which are some writing I’ve been doing…yes I’ve been doing other writing, which is taking up my time as well.

Thanks for checking in!