September 28 2010
Anyway, the last night I was in LA I had dinner with a friend of mine. Twas nice. Ate some stuff. Then I moseyed back to the hotel and planned to watch some TV and arrange for a wakeup call. I wanted to get to sleep early because I had to be in Iowa in the morning (yes, I’ll post what all this traveling was about soon).
All week long I’d been sitting with a stack of papers on the desk one of which was my travel itinerary. I could have looked at it any time to see what time my flight left but the ‘voice of bad reason’ told me there was no point. If I had to wake up at 4AM or 5AM what was the difference. I was leaving some time in the AM. But finally I had to find out exactly how early I needed to wake up.
As I flipped through the papers looking for my Delta printout I started doing math in my head. It’s 9:15PM. West Coast. I need to be in Iowa by 10AM. “Hmm… Wait… How’s this work again with the time zone stuff? How many hours do I gain? Wait lose? No gain! Wait. I started getting scared my flight was at like 430AM or something…”
I find the flight schedule and stare at it. My Delta Flight leaves today. 10:55P. I’m like, ‘Hmmm… I don’t get it. What’s that mean? “P”. 10:55P. Today? It was currently 9:20PM. I look around my hotel room which is absolutely trashed rock star style. (Except with water bottles and computer wires everywhere instead of booze bottles and bras). And my brain finally finishes computing the organizational math.
SUM TOTAL: I needed to pack and leave this hotel room. Starting…. Now!
The Mission Impossible theme starts playing in my head…
I scrambled around gathering up my clothes and throwing them all in my bag willy nilly. Did like the full arm swoop dump of all my toiletries in a big plastic bag. While multitask calling Delta to access the situation if I do miss the plane. They told me if I missed my Iowa flight– they’d book me to fly through Tennessee on a 1AM flight– and then to Iowa. And I wouldn’t get there til like noon. And it would cost me an extra $300 because I used my skymiles to book the flight. I was bouncing up and down on my suitcase trying to close it all like, ‘Noooo! No! Why my brain always playing tricks on me!’
I head down to the front desk and I’m like, ‘I need to check out of here right now!’ The front desk lady typed stuff up and was like, ‘Well, you already pre-paid through Hotwire for tonight so…’ I’m like, ‘I don’t care I need to get out!’ It must of looked like I was sweaty criminal on the run. Checking out all late night. (Umm… Then again I guess a criminal wouldn’t be bothering to actually ‘Check Out’)
I run with my bag down a Culver City sidewalk to my car cursing myself for being so astoundingly stupid for not knowing when I’m leaving (let alone booking for an extra night in the hotel– (which was a whole other anger I needed to postpone). And I’m extra pissed that I bothered to check out of the hotel at all— burning precious time. I should have just left!
I hop in my Mustang (yes, mustang!) and rev it up. I fly out of the parking garage (smashing through the gate…. in my head– paying the ticket and saying ‘thank you’ nicely in my reality) Then I tell the GPS where I’m going. LAX! When I get on the highway I’m like, ‘Let’s see how the Mustang can go…’ The highway was trafficless. Pretty empty. I literally floored it. I felt G’s in my face. And inside a little sneak smile crept up. The smile reserved only for the rare occasion when you know you’re gonna speed like crazy– and simply don’t care if you get pulled over. It was either going to be a big W or a big L. Going for it…
I’m driving 100MPH in the fast lane and loving it! The Mustang is loving it too! I really do dig that car! I’m like, ‘Either I’m gonna get a speeding ticket or I’m gonna make this fruckin flight…’ The only X factor to my dumb equation is I still need to drop off the rental car and the gas tank was near empty. Vroom!
I’m getting close to the airport and considering refilling the tank. I know the ripoff charge that happens ($7 a gallon or some crap) if you don’t refuel. I look at the clock. There’s no way. Can’t risk it. I keep going in this car like a bullet and decide to eat the charge. But I was still worried I’d be standing for 10 minutes waiting for the Avis bus to bring me to the airport.
I pull into the Avis and jump out of the Mustang and announce to everyone within earshot that I’m late. I yank my suitcase out of the back and I’m like, ‘I’m late! I’m so late!’ This woman comes over with her electronic clipboard and starts checking my car. I’m jumping up and down like I have to pee. I’m late! She’s like, ‘You not fill tank?’ And I’m like, ‘No! Here’s my watch off my wrist, you crooks! Whatever you want!’
A plain clothed Avis worker woman comes over and is like, ‘I hear you’re late…’ I’m like, ‘Yes! I’m late I’m late!’ She was like, ‘I got you. I got you. C’mon.’ I walk past the insanely jealous people waiting for the bus and hop in a Nissan Altima with this lady. My personal chauffeur to the airport. (How super terrible it must be for organized people to see the disorganized idiots get preferential treatment like that. I felt bad about it.) We head out and she starts driving. Fast. Now I’m nervous to be in a car that’s driving fast. She flies over a speed bump and I’m thinking like, ‘You beat on your cars too?’
We pull up to the Delta gate and I praise her up and down. We make out and share a moment. Her hair smells like coconuts. She rips off her Avis vest and yells, ‘Do me! Do me now!!’ She grabs the seat handle and puts her seat all the way back. I say, “No time, sunshine… Next time… Next time. Man’s gotta fly… ” I touch her nose and wink. Then hop out of the car and I run into the airport hearing her yell something after me. I don’t even hear it. My dragging suitcase bumps along behind me.
I do the electronic check in. Zip zap! Yay computers! I’m like, ‘This is happening! I like am here! I have my ticket! A little over an hour ago I was in a wrecked hotel room! I’m here! I’m within range!’
Mercifully the security metal detector line was short and I flew through that. And then I ran OJ style to the gate. Shoes untied.
I get to the gate as soon as they call my ‘zone’. I walk onto the plane absolutely stunned. Stunned by my non-knowledge of my whole schedule. Stunned by the fact that I was able to get out of that hotel room so fast (even checking under the bed). And amazed by my excellent high-speed driving skills (btw the Mustang which really seemed to enjoy going that fast. Really dig that car..).
The plane pulls away from the gate and I take out my book. And my brain starts whispering to me. Prepping for future idiocy. ‘Psst… It was all fun, right… admit it was fun… why are you smiling?… you loved the excitement and adventure… admit it… say it… forgetting things is fun… it keeps you on your toes… remember that…. remember that….forgetting things is fun…..‘
PS. Here’s a link to the book I’m reading and liking. Let the Great World Spin..