It probably started around 10 o’clock last night, when I looked at the clock on my computer screen and realized I was still sitting at my desk, in the long-since-abandoned office, prioritizing the work that would be waiting when I got back to the office next week. I should’ve known then – known that I had too much to do and not enough hours to do them in – that something would have to give. I just didn’t know that that something would be my flight to Seattle.
As I sit at a charming corner cafe – the one directly across the street from my apartment, the one I’ve gotten to know quite well while I wait for internet to be installed at home – I can’t help but wonder…if I had given up just one of the errands, if just one of the many delays hadn’t derailed me even by a few minutes…if just one butterfly had fluttered her wings a little softer, or not at all…would I have made it on that flight?
(Yes, I’ve been watching a lot of Sex and the City lately.)
I didn’t need to stay at the office that late, but I got to cleaning up an inbox that’d been ignored for weeks as film after film demanded my attention, and watching that inbox shrink got so addictive I lost track of the time.
I did need cat food and cash, two stops that should’ve been quick except for the long line at the grocery store being serviced by just one cashier counting the minute till the end of her shift.
I probably could’ve sorted through all my jewelry – still in bags inside boxes – when I got back from the Pacific Northwest, but with so many outfit options, I wanted to be sure I had the write accessories on hand, and a couple choices at that.
I definitely had to clean up Audrey’s space; with a cat sitter making her way to my place while I’m away, I’ve succumbed to the “clean the house before the housekeeper comes” syndrome, lest I give the young lady the wrong impression (that I’m some slobby cat lady I am most assuredly not!).
Crashing at 2:30a for a 6a wake-up call was probably not my best idea of the last 24 hours, I admit. Maybe I’d have moved a bit faster through the morning had I been well-rested. But I was up at 6a with my alarm, packed and ready to hit the road.
My eyes, however, weren’t having it. Putting in my contacts – after having just removed them four hours earlier – felt like someone had replaced my contact solution with vinegar. I stood there for a few extra moments, willing my eyes to cooperate before giving up and putting on my glasses.
I’d realized at about 1am that I’d left the office without grabbing extra business cards, a must for this trip. Maybe this was my fatal flaw, thinking I could trudge into the city to get cards, then back out to JFK in the span of a couple hours. Under normal circumstances, it might’ve been possible. But in my infinite wisdom this morning, I decided to take a cab the second half of the commute to the office, thinking it’d be faster than a train I’d have to wait for and the two blocks I’d still have to walk from there.
Like the burning bush talking to Moses, I swear the universe was trying to tell me something as the skies parted the minute I emerged from the subway in search of a cab. Down. Pour. And we all know how easy it is to get a cab in New York City in the rain.
Legs soaked up to my knees, I did manage to hail one. It just happened to be the one with the driver who didn’t know how to open the back hatch so I could load my bag. Watching him fumble with the latch, I’m sure some part of me knew then my morning was doomed.
Finally on the subway to the airport, of course I’d be on the train that stopped not once, not twice but three separate times due to “train traffic ahead. We will be moving momentarily.” Except momentarily, when you’re watching the boarding window for your flight close with every passing minute, feels like an eternity.
A transfer to the AirTran later, I slogged my bag to the check-in line, just three people from the front. Forty-five minutes to flight time, I watched the line behind me get ever longer as the clerks at the check-in desks seemed to take their sweet time with the flyers in front of me. By the time I got up to Edgard’s booth, the first thing he said to me after looking up my reservation was, “Oh, you’re laaaaaate…”
I suppose if any one of the above delays and decisions hadn’t happened, I would be writing this (well, a different post entirely, but you get what I mean) from Seattle, from a hotel room I imagine has a view of the water and the Space Needle (I don’t even know if that’s geographically possible, but in my never-been-to-Seattle brain, it totally is).
It wasn’t until I had trudged back home, lugged my bag back up to my 4th floor walk-up and collapsed on my bed, dejected and embarrassed, that I realized the day: May 15. Better known as my one year anniversary in NYC.
Which means I can’t help but ascribe all this hassle, all this insanity to one simple fact: New York can’t quit me.
The feeling’s mutual, friend. The feeling’s mutual.