Friday, September 23, 2005

The Place At Dawn

Friday, 4.45 AM (EST)

The first time I have been on an airport tarmac, the end of the night... or the beginning of the morning. We are led through ramps and onto other temporary ramps and then onto the ground level I have only seen from great-ish heights. And the Comair plane? I don't know what type of plane it is but I just hope I don't vomit. The thing is a large biplane.

Space is a premium; the big fellas behind me have been laughing about not being able to stand with the low headroom and tiny seats.

- Forget the movie on this flight, they say.

- The airline equivalent to an '89 Camry!, they declare.

The two may be headed to New Orleans; they talk about beginning to rough it. Perhaps they are with the woman who, earlier and in the terminal, conversed with a friend on her mobile phone about how she didn't know where any of the other aid workers were on the flight. It stands to reason, the biplane goes to Atlanta and that would be a logical transfer to New Orleans.

Luckily the person who should have the window seat is not here. Or perhaps the seat was never booked. Tiiiight. My eyes hurt from three hours sleep and the previous night (Minus the Bear was the best show!!! I crashed out at Hotel Dora afterwards) and from the hurried packing and my inability to get all of the CD's I had (from work, from Dora, from Gully) onto my ipod before leaving home (hence the discs in my bag).

Two girls from the Argentine or Chilean version of the OC are in front of me. We share a laugh about a vibrating THUNK sound, probably the wheels locking into place. Besides that, it is the smoothest take off ever. The guys behind me join in, I am surrounded by laughter, and am beginning Tom Perotta's Little Children by overhead light. I am trying to identify neighborhoods receding below by shopping malls and elevated train stations and dead spots in the light grids, and San Diego, here I come.

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