I attended a Haven Writers Retreat on Wednesday in Kalispell, MT. Here is what I wrote for the first prompt we were given:
I stepped out of Fajardo’s cab the first time at Newark International airport at 6:26 AM this morning when I discovered I had left my wallet at home. A call to my boyfriend Augustus confirmed it was still hanging on the key rack, right where I left it.
I stepped out of Fajardo’s car at Newark the second time when we returned to Terminal B at 7:51 AM. He kept beating my iPhone’s expected arrival time by doing 80 miles an hour on interstate 95. This mistake cost me $326, nearly as much as the flight, and earned him a big tip and a kiss on the cheek.
Before we arrived, Delta had already begun boarding flight 2345 to Minneapolis. This plane would take me to my final destination of Kalispell, Montana. The Delta agent on the phone said I would not catch this flight. I corrected her and said miracles happen all the time. Then she explained that if I caught it, my bag would not. The next flight departed at 5 PM, and would arrive in Kalispell after 11 PM. The following 40 minute taxi ride would put me arriving at Walking Lightly Ranch in Whitefish, MT around midnight tonight.
My friend Francesca’s voice entered my head, as yesterday she encouraged me to tell the airport professionals that I have a brain injury. Full disclosure has already worked to my advantage at several points this morning. The first time is when I entered the exit line at the baggage counter where four Delta professionals were closing up. Gasping for breath, I explained I have a brain injury and need to be boarding a flight right now. Two agents escorted me through the closed gate entrance and wished me luck through security.
The second time I mentioned the brain injury was to a security professional who helped me move to the front of the X-Ray line. A woman firmly required I still remove my boots, coat and laptop, and put them all on the conveyer belt. This along with my 30-pound suitcase that I was told would be too large to gate check. The prayer beads I am wearing were the only item that required a second scan.
After prayerfully hoping I collected all of my belongings (suitcase, purse, backpack, wallet, jacket and iPhone), a stranger pointed out as I was walking away that the plane ticket had fallen to the floor. As it turned out, Gate 41B was just around the corner.
The gate staff were the only people there, and appeared to be calmly waiting for me. I was welcomed to be the last person to board. An agent with a friendly smile said “You can take a breath now.” It was 8:15 AM and the plane was scheduled to depart at 8:25.
I beamed in sheer amazement and partial disbelief that I was walking up the aisle to seat 12E. I told those already seated that this was a miracle, because I was in a cab only 20 minutes ago. Seats D and F next to mine happen to be unoccupied. I believe there are two other women on this flight headed to Haven also, whom I’ll be sharing a cab with in Kalispell.
All that brings me to this present moment, 9:43 AM where I am reading the first prompt exercise. Which is to listen to two people having a conversation. This appears to be a partially full flight and is very quiet, aside from the baby who just began to cry in the front of the plane. It is dark, as most of the shades are drawn.
The last conversation I heard was when the flight attendant Fabiana asked if I wanted any pretzels, peanuts or cookies with my apple juice? I responded surprise me, and she gave me one of each.
Although I never want to test them again, I learned this morning that this Angel knows how to use her wings.