Wednesday, 17 June
I’ve been getting ready for this trip—I’ve known about it for more than a year; the flights were purchased nine months ago, as were the hotels—for the better part of a year. Granted, it’s been an eventful, fraught year: I got married, went to Phoenix for the Christmas holidays to see my son and a dear friend who was dying of cancer, hosted other friends who passed through Middle Tennessee this spring, helped my son make an important decision, made plans to throw a party in another country … and worked a lot. (I’m self-employed. I work a lot.)
I was really, really looking forward to this trip. (Not least because I’d see my husband for the first time in more than seven months.)
My housesitter—a lovely young man, a friend of friends—drove me to the airport first thing in the morning. We ran a bit early because I’d forgotten commuter traffic is lighter in the summer, but that’s OK. And then he gave me a hug at the airport. Because that’s what you do, right? A hug at the airport. Sweet. 🙂
My first flight—one of those tiny comuter planes—took me to JFK International Airport, over the hills of Virginia and the enormous Chesapeake Bay, and up the coast.
I had a five-hour layover, so I found a “bistro”—restaurant with tables, as opposed to a fast-food takeaway—and ordered lunch (a very expensive lunch, I might add, and not very good—but is airport food ever good?). The good news is I was in a quiet corner right next to an electrical outlet, so I got out my computer and worked for about three hours. The waitress was a doll (Venus, always smiling and calm, not something you normally see in an airport), so actually this was fortuitous. I always need to take work with me.
But finally, it was time. I was seated next to a married couple from NYC; she was American, he was Irish by birth, now an American citizen. A Dubliner, even! They were on their way to Dublin for a wedding—a wedding on the same day as the wedding I was crossing the ocean for. We laughed thinking how wonderfully coincidental it would be if we were going to the same event, but, alas, we quickly discovered we were not. And then we slept.