Chapter 1: 4am
"Thanks again, bro." I shut the car door as Woodside pulls away. Grabbing my crap, I slowly walk into the airport. My steps are peaceful and deliberate. Prepared and unhurried. It's 10:00 at night, and my flight doesn't leave for another 8 hours.
I know, that's a tad early even taking security checks into account. But I really had no other option. Orlando's about an hour away, and between my 6.20am departure time and needing to be at the airport an hour early to check in, well that put me leaving Merritt Island at the 4:00 hour. In the MORNING. I wasn't about to wake up that early, and I certainly couldn't ask someone else to wake up that early to give me a lift if I wasn't even willing to wake up that early to give myself a lift. So 10:00 the night before it is.
I'm pretty bored. Just sitting around. I watched the Orlando Magic blow tonight. Their lead that is. Up 7 with 5 minutes left, they ended up losing by double digits. Memphis went on a 19-2 run or something. Gross. AND. I had to pay $5 for airport bottled water. Just to keep sitting in the bar-pub-sports grille place. When they were winning, I justified it as "I've got nothing better to do, and it's just $5." Once they lost, I rended my clothes and covered myself in sackcloth and ashes. There may have even been wailing.
I've gotten to talk to some friends though. That's passed time. I've read some. Played Tetris on my cell phone. Sat on the floor by the ONLY OUTLET in all of Orlando International Airport. I thought I'd sleep, but it's 3am and I haven't. I'm supposed to call someone and wake them up at 2am and 4am, but I figured 1 call at 3am is a neat compromise. Ha ha. She just answered. Short conversation. The phone was ringing, and I almost hung up, but she hit the phone thinking it was her alarm I guess. Because there was about 15 seconds of rustling and confusion. Then the groggy, crackled hello. HA HA. Fun times. Gotta love the "what-the-heck-just-happened-it's-the-middle-of-the-night-and-my-phone-just-went-nuts?!" phone calls.
So I just woke up to the sound of intense beeping. Apparently 4am is primetime for construction inside the Orlando International Airport. Real cool. I guess I got mine. I know I wasn't in the deepest sleep of my life, seeing that it only lasted 30 MINUTES and the chairs and armrests I contoured myself over weren't Swedish Tempur-pedics, but you have to see me there. Just cuddled in a mess right in front of your eyes. You saw me when I was awake. I go to sleep and that means you can start working? And why the incessant beeping? Do you have to constantly BACK UP whatever that tall tractor thing is? Ever heard of INSIDE voices? Your friends are standing right next to you. If I can hear you, IN MY SLEEP, I PROMISE they can hear you. Sorry, I guess I woke up on the wrong side of...that CHAIR. Are you kidding me? People are already lining up to check in their bags. For a 6:20 flight. It's 4 AM! We have another hour. To sit. To sleep. To be merry! Uhhh. Here we go...
Gross. I'm standing in line. Zombie-like. This smooth-talking 40 year old is hitting on a college fresman. Who is ugly. That was blunt. But seriously. She's ugly. Did I just say that? I'm standing right behind her, and she's on the ground (which I was jealous of, and contemplated joining in until...) with her shirt rising up her back. And her pants riding down her, um, rump. And sure enough this massive crack has TWO tats. Yes, TWO tattoos. One for each cheek. I think a little puke just came up. I'd say I wouldn't blame the man, for he knows not what I see. But her face isn't such a masterpiece of body art either. And from the looks of it, he doesn't seem to mind. Either he's non-judgemental or desperate. I'm increasingly leaning toward desperate. It's 4 IN THE MORNING. Everyone's judgemental at 4 am. And what is with ALL THIS CHATTER? Isn't it understood you don't talk to strangers? Especially at such an ungodly hour?! It's true. Nothing good happens after 4am.
Oy. It's 4am; he must be lonely.
To Be Continued...