Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Waiting in the terminal

Pin It What a horrible word—terminal. Doesn’t terminal actually mean a disease with no cure which will inevitably cause death? Something fatal?

This is what I was thinking as I watched the planes taxing to and from the airstrip. I was hoping that this trip I was taking would not turn out to be the terminal type.

Admittedly, this was the longest flight I’d ever taken before—I was doing it—I was flying to New York for the first time in my life; the Big Apple; the home of the Statue of Liberty; the location of about a dozen movies I love.

Still, visions of plane crashes from shows like LOST flashed through my head as the plane taxied to the runway. I glanced out the window at the lines painted on the airstrip, like chalk outlines around accident bodies, red and white were the reminders to pilots of where to go. Captain Bob’s voice pulled me out of my morbid thoughts as he reminded us that our flight would take about four hours.

We reached the runway and waited. Moments later, the sudden pull of the engines threw us back in our seats and the pavement shot away beneath us. The land pulled away as we became airborne. As I looked out the window and watched the scene below me, I decided that it was indeed a long fall back to earth.

Over the Great Salt Lake we soared, with its pallid blue-gray waters reflecting back the morning light me. As we moved beyond the realms of the Salt Lake Valley, mountains rose like the paper-mache topographical maps I’d made in elementary school as a kid.

It was a few hours later that we flew over Lake Michigan. I anxiously looked out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of this massive body of water below me, however, the foggy cloud cover made this impossible, it was like trying to see through a steamed window. Dejectedly, I slumped in my seat…to be over The Great Lakes and not be able to see them…

Curses.

It was then that I decided to do the next best thing, I snagged my iPod and found Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” and listened to it in order to pay homage to that great body of water; all the while, the wind currents buffeted our plane back and forth.

Still farther and farther that plane moved me from my home, from the places which I found familiar and comfortable; I was now headed to destinations which remained yet uncharted and unexplored.

It wasn’t long before the big, blue ocean stretched out to meld with the distant skyline in a haze of heaven and water. It was then that I finally saw the city down below me, where lives were being lived…millions of them; millions of people that I didn’t know but that could probably be friends with me and that I could probably like and be friends with in return.

Bring on the adventure…

13 comments:

annette said...

Good for you! So glad you made it on the first flight out! Too bad about the Great Lakes. Well, there's always the flight back- who knows? If cloudy again, guess you'll just have to visit them in person!

Have a great adventure! I can't wait to read about it.

The Transcendent said...

Sorry to only comment on a small portion, but I really had to say I loved the beginning about the the word "terminal." It was great, one of those Fish Sticks ideas (meaning something everything really should have connected... but no one really does)

Linn said...

Have a great time! That is a LONG flight, I've taken it several, several times. Enjoy the city though and let us know about all of your adventures!

007penguin said...

Good to hear that your words have come back to you, I can hear that enthusiasm for life slipping back in! enjoy the adventure.

K.J. said...

Have fun, be safe and remember to smile a lot while your their! Smiles...they just seem to make things happier!
Have a great trip!

Gerb said...

I will take that flight someday. Safe travels, happy picture-taking, and don't forget to write!

Valerie said...

Sounds exciting!! If you happen to venture to DC, we'd love to see you!

Julie said...

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils..."

I hope you have a great time...and post several pictures!

Corine said...

Sweet! :D I've never gone to NY, or even been on a plane. I'm very courious about it. ("Curious Cory" - ha ha!)

I hope you have a GREAT time! :D

Danielle said...

Fun fun fun!! Tell Yancy and Leah hi for us all!!

Kathy said...

Did you know your first was at 3 days old! From San Francisco to Ontario.

Teachinfourth said...

A - Hopefully, I'll make it back on the first flight as well...

TT - Thanks for stopping by.

L - It is great though...as for the adventures, I will; indeed I will.

K - It's slowly coming back.

K - I watch how much I smile out here...want to blend, you know. Well, I still smile anyhow...

G - I will write more, probably when I get home; I've taken notes and written on the subway while in transit, but to upload photos and to type it all up takes time. Hopefully, you guys will be forgiving.

V - If I was going to DC, you can bet I'd stop in to visit (could always use a place to stay...that always helps to encourage a visit).

J - I have actually ventured to several locations of that movie already...a few more to see.

C - It is a whole different world out here, Cory; I don't know if you'd like it a whole lot...

D - I just did.

K - Can people do that with their kids at such a young age? Wow.

hintonrae said...

Love the beginning of this post, Jason. How long was the flight, out of curiosity? My flights from VA to CA have always had connections to break them up, but I would suppose without the connections would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-7 1/2 hours. Or something like that. You know I teach English, not math. ;) So glad you made it to NY--such a cool place.

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