After what felt like an eternity of plummeting through the skies where the plane was shaking like maracas in the hand of a 4 year old, people were puking similar to the guys on the sandlot after chewing tabacoo, children cryin the way babies do when they fall and they are fine until you ask if they are ok and they lose their minds, mexican women chanting hail marys in spanish, well, the way mexicans tend to shout things, me peeking out the window wondering how high off the ground we still were and if we could survive or not. I’m attempting to not get motion sickness to avoid joining the choir of purgers. Looking out the window reminded me of the Wizard of Oz when the house is in the tornado. We finally landed safely. I was happy to be on the ground until I walked off the plane into the terminal and had a look around.
I peer left. I glance right. I start to wish I was back on the plane. I find our next gate, point it out to my peers, we have a four hour lay over, I glide towards the bathroom. Open the door, the portion you push is sticky. I wipe my hands on my jeans, my jeans get sticky. I was my hands before going number one. No heat in this water, it’s like a showering of ice cubes. A dude is playing himself in a round of battle shits, and he’s winning or losing depending on how you look at it. This bathroom is scarier than a bathroom in the middle of big city, with a flickering light, everything is wet or sticky, there’s no toilet paper, there’s graffiti everywhere, and ads for women to call for a good time. I feel right at home basically. I rewash my hands, no soap this time, homeboy in the bathroom took the last drops. My hands go numb.
Hungry, I check out my options, half empty vending stands everywhere, food that looks like it expired in 2007. I look at other options, blue chips, rotten apples, but they had carrot mango juice so I kept that in the back of my mind. The group decides we will walk around to a “nicer” place to sit down and get food.
We end up at a sports bar. First thing I notice, bartender is wearing a winter coat. Second, it’s freezing, I can see my breath. Third, there are plastic mats hanging from the ceiling with water hoses attached. I thought it was an interesting decoration, then saw the trash cans, ahh…Leaky roof. Not surprised. We sit at the bar, get a menu from the bartender who proceeds to cross off half the items because they don’t have any more of anything. We eat at their food court that makes any city’s crappy mall look like a 5-star restaurant.
We eat our average tasting mall food. Find out our flight has been delayed. The weather was bad, rain and winds. A bit flustered, but it’s ok, it’s only a 6 hour lay over. People’s cell phones start dying, we need a place to sit and charge our electronics. I strategically pick a quiet little section next to some cute women who were headed where we were. No one says anything for a good 2 hours. Finally the ice is broken by asking about their magazines containing information about the bachelor I was dying to read, but wouldn’t buy the magazine myself. Turns out Jake is cheating, good Vienna is terrible.
Conversations take place, new friends are made. We turn it into the first day of class: Name, age, studying, you know the basics, if you were in school still. I had a first day of class once… More people join in. Flight gets delayed again. 7 hour lay over. 8 hour. People start getting slap happy. No one cares, decent mood, we say lets get some drinks at the should be shut down sports bar.
I start to realize how this airport looks post-apocalyptic and for some reason everything seems in slow motion. Wires were hanging from the ceiling, mice are running around, babies are crying or being breast fed, i try sneaking a peek, mom covers up with blanks, college kids are getting hammered at the bar making spring break last a little bit longer. We join in. A couple of beers and a $12 shot of patron later, things seem ok. Back to our spot. More talking with friends which has grown from a group of 15 to 22. Spring break stories are shared, such as ladies cloging industrial powered toilets in dunkin donuts.
Flight gets delayed, again. People get pissed. Rumors go around, flight will be cancelled. No flights till next saturday. We check online, we can’t find anything until monday. People have class, I have work (I’m grown). If its cancelled we all have to wait to be on standby until the following saturday. People are angry, I’m hungry, I get a parfait and that mango carrot juice, it’s decent. Our flight can’t come in the weather is too bad. Flight is now pushed till 11:51, original time of departure is 4:39.
We contemplate caravaning to michigan, cuz that’s where everyone was from it’s about a 10 hour drive, at this point we would have been close to home if we just did that in the first place. Weather is still bad outside, we can’t get any rental cars. Some workers were hispanic, a bunch of mexican jokes are said, I’m not offended. Drunk girls yell at the desk people. Random clapping. Fire alarms goes off. This wasn’t the first time, I just forgot to mention it earlier. It went off more times than it did in your dorm your freshman year (6 year ago), every time people just looked around not sure what to do. There were no fires, but if there were, at least the air port would have had heat.
Nothing left to do but wait it out. We chill. Claps come, our flight will arrive. We will make it home. New time of departure? 1:30 AM, this is before the daylight savings switch. Take off at 2, which is now 3. Walking to my seat, I notice a smell that seems familiar after a night of not knowing my limits when drinking. I see water bottles, gum wrappers, crumbs of chips, people listening to “no scrubs” louder than I listen to Spice Girls “Wannabe”. Girl in the seat across the isle found the odor I noticed, its in her seat, which is not cleaned. They got new seats. I close my eyes and want to sleep.
I wake up to some shaking and the guy next to me writing a story, maybe it’s the same tale I’m writing now. His hands are going all fast. He catches me reading. He covers it up. Eph that guy, I didn’t want to read it anyways, I close my eyes. It’s about 4 and we land safely. I walk through a terminal in Detroit that looks like heaven compared to the previous airport. Grabs some eats, thanks to a friends parents. Hit the road. Arrive at home at 7:30 AM.
I sleep like a baby with my walle lamp beside me. I think about the good times from the week, the friends made in the airport and then I remember the drunk girls weren’t allowed on the plane… I wonder where and what they are doing now?