So. The Edel Gathering was beyond fantastic, and I’mma tell you about that later..but right now, we need to talk about what happened to me at the airport. Because it was serious.
I was fortunate enough to find a ride to the Austin airport with some new friends I made this weekend. These three wonderful ladies – Jessica, Natalie and Christy – were from Colorado. We hit it off right away, especially after they told me that they’d been reading my blog aloud in their hotel room the night before. Nothing strokes the old ego or solidifies a friendship like that kind of compliment.
I told them I would love to join them on Saturday night for more blog reading, as I would love to hear my passages read to me (and possibly reenacted), but nothing really happened with that.
Well…mostly because we were dancing the night away. We had so much fun! But back to the story.
So Natalie, Jessica, Christy and I got a cab and I was in the passenger seat.I was cracking one joke after another and I’m pretty sure our driver wanted to eject me from the cab.
But soon, he was laughing too. Gently. Gentle, light, nervous and tentative laughter emitted from out cab driver.
But all good things must eventually come to an end, and by and by, it came time for us to say goodbye to dear Natalie as she departed for her terminal at United Airlines.
I hugged her goodbye and opened the door to get back into my seat.
It was then that I slammed the door into my forehead so hard that I saw stars.
I think I might have said something that was not from the handbook of Flowery Language For The Meek And Pleasant Lady.
What can I say. I have my flaws.
I laughed my way through the pain so that my new friends would not have to deal with the shock and anguish of a full scale tantrum such as the ones which are my custom whenever I become injured. Everyone was really sympathetic and caring about the whole thing and I kept saying “I’m fine! This hurts. Oh but I’m fine!”
But inside, I wanted to punch that cab door right in the face.
Now it was time for us to leave the cab and head into the Southwest terminal. I began to brace myself and my heart was pumping like crazy as I anticipated going through security.
For some reason, going through the security gate turns me into a little girl with an overwhelming desire to please others.
When it was time for me to put my things on the conveyer belt, I began taking off my shoes. The security officer there was a very kind man who smiled and said, ” You can keep your shoes on, Ma’am.”
But my shoes were already off and I was desperate to show what an obedient little security abiding citizen I could be.
“Don’t look like an angry terrorist, whatever you do.” I said to myself. “You are already olive skinned and Egyptian and passionate. Happy Little Girl is the least threatening look you can go for.”
I set my shoes neatly into a tray, smiling all the while.
Then I walked through the security doorframe thing with a smile so big , the agent probably thought I was senile.
Then something happened. Something bad.
I was walking barefoot, going to pick up my things from the conveyer belt, when I stepped on something very sharp. It felt like glass. “AUGH!!!” I cried. “I think I stepped on glass!”
Christy was standing near me. “Oh no!” She said.
Sure enough, a big sliver of glass was lodged in my foot. I pulled it out and my foot started bleeding profusely.
I’m sorry if this is dramatic, but I am trying to save you the trouble of using your imagination. To clarify, that is nail polish..not actual blood.
“I AM BLEEDING!” I proclaimed. An agent rushed over. She gave me some napkins.
I stayed calm. I smiled. I said “oh, it’s okay! Just a bit of blood!”
Another agent came over. He was an older man, kind and thoughtful.
“Why don’t I get you some alcohol?” He offered.
I nodded profusely. “That sounds PERFECT!” I said, with great enthusiasm. I could sure use a drink.
He walked over to a wall cabinet right there in the lobby and grabbed a spray bottle.
“Here it is!” He said cheerfully, as if he was honestly handing me a vodka tonic. “Just spray it on the wound to clean it up. ”
“Have your friend spray it on there!” He said in a booming voice, while I stood there speechless and hopping on one leg.
So my new friends helped me . They grabbed my things and sprayed me with alcohol and helped me to my seat .
A kind woman agent came over and said “We are so sorry! A week ago, a woman walked through security with a wine glass and it shattered everywhere. We think that’s where the glass came from.”
She handed me some band aids and a gauze pad. I put them on.
She encouraged me to file a report. That way, if my cut became infected, my medical bills would be covered by the airport.
“That lady over there can help you,” she told me, pointing to a hostile looking woman standing behind a podium. She didn’t look like she enjoyed helping anyone.
I wish someone would pay me to stand at a podium and glare at the world, but apparently God has a different plan for my life.
From her podium (and only from her podium), Podium Lady said that I would have to fill out paperwork.
Just so you know, I hate paperwork.
Thoughtful Jessica walked over to the podium to pick up my paperwork for me, but NO. Podium Lady wasn’t havin that.
“She needs to come over here herself.” She demanded.
This was after she watched me hop around on one leg like a graceless flamingo to get to my seat.
So I hopped over there and she tells me, “I don’t have any paperwork for you.
“You need to take this matter up with the City of Austin,” she says in a crabby voice. “They’ll send someone soon.”
I hop back to my bench. Jessica and Christy are aghast. Jessica keeps saying that this is weird. And stupid. She is right.
We sit and talk and joke and laugh for a while. Finally a good looking black gentleman comes over to us. This man is the City of Austin.
He grabs a tiny personal notepad from his pocket. He asks me questions about my injury. I answer all of his questions. I tell him the only disappointing part is the guy who offered me alcohol but never gave me an actual drink. City of Austin laughs. I laugh. We all laugh. But then he becomes very serious again, and he does not laugh at my next five jokes. I stop trying.
He takes down my name and number . He gives me a name and number. This is the extent of the “paperwork” that Podium Lady referred to.
After this we run into Natalie again. She took in the news of my injuries with shock, and more than her fair share of laughter, I might add.
I joke that I am so afraid of what will happen next. “I’m scared that a sparrow will swoop down and peck my eyes out.”
We visit and joke and laugh and enjoy each other’s company, but the time has come to part ways. It’s kind of sad and my heart hurts a little.
I am exhausted. I am traumatized by my injuries. I order a five dollar coffee milkshake to cope with the pain. I am drinking it happily, when suddenly there is something that feels like a piece of bone in my mouth. I examine it.
It’s a fingernail. An $&$&ing fingernail. I sit there shaking and wondering how the the HAIL this disgusting piece of human being wound up in my damned milkshake. Then I throw my milkshake into the trash.
I decide I need moral support, so I go to look for my Colorado peeps. But as I’m walking, I see a large black bird swoop down from the rafters, and I think “oh hell no. Not a bird!”
But all was well. I made it back to my gate, a few steps closer to home, another adventure accomplished – injuries and all.
I will be blogging about the amazing Edel Gathering ASAP! Stay tuned, my friends…and hey, be careful out there;)