I don’t even know how to begin on Sunday. A fucking disaster. That’s how I’ll start.
Sunday we got up around 730 to get going. I had already packed the night before. I managed to squeeze everything I owned into one luggage, even the other suitcase was squeezed into the big case. After struggling with two cases on the train, I didn’t want to have to deal with that again, and plus it was raining, it was cold as a bitch and windy. I just wanted everything to be easy.
We decided against going to the West Egg again because no one wanted to brave the elements. We had breakfast the Wave Restaurant which was rather quaint, albeit expensive. Since I was like dead broke, practically homeless, I just ate pancakes with nothing else.
So, we check out of the hotel, wave good bye to the best hotel ever and get in the cab. I tell the cabbie to take me to the blue line. Naturally, I would mean the closest stop, not the stop on the other side of the world. I figured he was pissed because when he came up he saw all the luggage, and I just know he was like yeah, big money they are going to the airport which is like a $50 cab ride. When we told him blue line, he saw his money deflated. I had to cuss him out for taking us to the blue line stop 12 miles away. He then claimed he only knew where two of the stops were located. I was like, whateves!
Ceciley and I had a good laugh watching the people on the street. I had read in the Chicago tips that it was stupid to have an umbrella since the wind was so out of control it would just fuck it up. We saw people holding shredded umbrellas. Other people had the right idea. One man was wearing a trash bag.
We get on the train which turned out to be the train ride from hell. It takes like an hour to get from downtown to the O’Hare airport on the train, but it didn’t make anything any better to have to get OFF the train because they were doing something to the tracks only to get on a bus that would take us BACK to the train. Why couldn’t you just continue to the airport since it was only one more stop away? Whateves.
We finally get to the airport. And you know, being an ex-screener, I know all about long lines and everything. Plus O’Hare is one of the busiest airports in the world so I allowed for plenty of time. We arrived to the airport two and a half hours early for our flight… only to find out that the bitch was cancelled. Yeah, thanks. Can I get a text message? A phone call? Something. Even a goddamn letter-carrying pigeon would have helped.
Ceciley was reading the screen and she was like, “Uhm, I think our flight is cancelled.” I thought she was bullshitting. I’m like, “Please, don’t play with my emotions.” But she was truly serious. I was like, fine, we can just get on the next one. The bizarre thing is that there was an 11, 12, 1, 2, 5 and 6 o’clock flight to Regan, but only the 12 was cancelled. Our flight. Is someone conspiring against us?
This is why I hate United Airlines. We get up to the ticket counters to find the lines completely out of control. We tell the guy we are on a cancelled flight and he tells us which line to get in. We stand in that line for about an hour. When we finally get to the counter, I was able to rebook my flight for the 2 o’clock but the computer told Ceciley that there were no more flights today or tomorrow. So is she supposed to just hang out in Chicago for 48 more hours?
We tried to talk to a ticket agent but she was like, you’re in the wrong line. Okay, the guy told us to stand in this line. Nope, sorry, you’re in the wrong line. We look over at the line we are supposed to be in and that line was like Black Friday while waiting to see Jesus, Oprah and Hannah Montana.
The guy tells me that they are going to charge me for giving up my 2 o’clock flight because I needed to be on the same flight as Ceciley. I started bitching because that is unfair. They cancelled my flight. They should pay for it. Then my luggage had already been booked for the 2 o’clock. The guy tells me to go get my luggage at the luggage reclaim place down in the baggage office. So I run down there to the baggage office only to be greeted by a big ass sign that says, “No luggage reclaim.”
Why the fuck did you send me down there when you know they don’t let you reclaim your luggage? I was thinking that we would have to be in Chicago an extra two days and all I could think about is that I had only the clothes on my back and all my liquids were checked. No toothpaste. No soap. No contact solution. Nothing. Two days of ass smelling like hot balls. Great.
There was a woman down there flipping out. These German tourists were staring at her like she had gone crazy. The woman was like, “Yeah, you are so frustrated and when you get mad, people stare at you like you’re insane. I’m not insane!” I was pissed too and I felt her pain.
I go back upstairs to where Ceciley is in the long ass line to heaven. People were really getting pissed at each other. I know how the workers feel and I tried not to get bitchy but I was so hungry. I had to pee. I was tired. Every time I got out of the line to pee, the people acted like I was jumping in front of them or something. The line was moving slow as hell because there were only 4 ticket agents working. I’m thinking like if you are going to cancel flights you need to send an army of ticket people to handle this bcause these people are about to start eating each other if they don’t get some recourse.
At one point, Ceciley and I made a couch out of the smartcarte and our luggage. We were real ghetto with it. We were lounged up on that thing and every time the line moved, all we did was shuffle our feet like we were Fred Flintstone. People were looking at us like were crazy but they know if they would have thought of it first they would have done it.
After about 2 hours we finally get to see a ticket agent. I tried real hard to be polite because she had to help us, but inside I just wanted to smash her face in. She did help us, and the truth is if you are kind to someone who is having a shitty ass day they might be able to help you. If you are bitchy you are going to get bitchy back. She could have been like, “You’re in luck… there is a flight… Next week.”
So she put us on the 5 o’clock flight. Never mind the fact that it was only like 12 something. We had to hang out in the airport for 5 additional hours. We get through security with no problem.
We sat down to eat in the airport and had dessert at a Mediterranean cafe. But there is only so much you can do in the airport before you start losing your mind. At one point I was laid out on the floor like a homeless junkie. You know you are assed out tired when you can get comfortable sleeping in an alley.
At long last, it was time to get on the plane, but you would think that all’s well that ends well, right? Yeah, the fuck right!
We get on the plane but there was an inner city school group headed to DC for historic sightseeing. Most of the kids had never been on a plane, had never been out of Chicago before and they didn’t grasp the concept of assigned seating. They just sat down anywhere, and that created all this confusion with other passengers. The flight attendants were very nice but I know they were really like, will you sit your black asses down so we can get the fuck out of here?
Eventually, they got everything worked out, and once again, you would think we would be on our way but no!
Ceciley fell asleep and the boy next to me, his name was Eric. He is 16 years old, never been on a plane before. He started asking me a zillion and one questions. How do the engines keep the plane up? How does the plane fly? How will it feel once we are in the air? Will it feel like he is on a roller coaster?
I didn’t mind answering his questions because it was obvious that he was scared but was trying to be cool about it. I talked him through everything that I knew and the rest I just made up because I didn’t want to say, “I don’t know.” I don’t even think he cared; he just wanted someone to pay attention to him so he wouldn’t think about how scared he was.
He started telling me about his school and what it was like to live in the ghetto of Chicago and about how people get killed in his neighbourhood all the time. It was insightful and I was glad to have spoken with him during our time on the plane. Sometimes I feel like God puts me in places where I am needed. I may not have much to offer in the way of anything, but I like to influence young black lives just to let them know there are other things out there in the world besides what you think is out there. I am an eccentric individual with very strange ideals but sometimes I can make sense.
We started having a deep conversation about what’s really important in life. He told me that he worked out because he didn’t want anyone to think he was weak and he didn’t want anyone to try him. I told him that I used to get beat up in junior high but it never fazed me because I know now that pride does not get the bills paid. I told him the girl who used to terrorise me has several children by several different baby daddies and is now on welfare while I am getting close to my goal of making 6 figures, living the high life drama-free. She may have won the battle, a silly tin crown of junior high respect; but I have the war, a diamond tiara of the American dream. He said he never thought of it that way. I told him the only things I cared about in life were me, my family and money. If it doesn’t affect my bottom line, then it’s unimportant and therefore, should be beneath your notice.
He talked to me about haters and the stuff that kids at his school would do, but I told him that he shouldn’t worry about the haters. Every time they hate, he should motivate and step up his game. Every time I come across someone who is smarter or wealthier or living better than I, it encourages me to read a little deeper in my books or work an extra hour of overtime. You can’t get rich off hating. That’s how broke niggas stay broke.
I just felt like I influenced him in some way, and I felt good about that. I think I gave him something to think about. Sometimes kids need someone to put it in perspective in the end game. Being a kid, especially in this new millenium in this fucked up ass world, is probably hard. It don’t make it no easier to be a black, underprivileged young man attending a shitty ass poor high school, and just be hungry to taste the good life.
So now I’m sure you’re wondering after all this conversation we had to be in Washington by now, right?
Wrong fucking answer.
Ceciley woke up and said, “How much longer?” Sorry, babes, we haven’t even left Chicago yet. We are still sitting at the goddamn gate. I think sh ewas going to jump off the plan and run screaming into the sunset. After another twenty minutes, though, we finally pushed back and took off.
Why was it the flight from hell?
There was mad turbulence, and these poor kids who had never been on a plane before were terrified. The plane was bouncing around like a goddamn Tilt-a-Whirl (as Ceciley described it). I have actually been on a plane where the turbulence was worse than that, but I think the situation was exacerbated by the fact that there were people who were really terrified. My stomach started to hurt and I don’t usually get motion sick.
So speaking of motion sickness, why did the boy in front of us throw up EVERYWHERE! There was a young couople sitting next to him and they called for the flight attendants. They weren’t allowed to get up because it was just too dangerous. The vomit was starting to stink and it was creeping across the floor. I know you are supposed to keep your luggage stowed but I didn’t want that shit getting on my bag so I put it in my lap.
I started praying to the Heavenly Father taht we would make it out alive. Eric asked me if I was a church going person. I told him you don’t have to go to chucrh to have the power of God on your side. I was in there seriously like, “Heavenly Father, we ask that you land us safely on this ground. I need to get the heck up out of here. Amen.”
Ceciley normally doesn’t like flying and I was worried that she would flip out but she was surprisingly laid back. I think she was so tired and pissed that we weren’t home yet that it didn’t even occur to her to get flipped out.
Trying to land in DC was a nightmare. It was storming like we were in Myanmar or something. He had to keep going back up, straightening out, before he could land. He did it so many times I swore I was on a rollercoaster. It was out of control. He said the winds were real strong and he had trouble controlling the plane. I was like, “Jesus, in Your infinite grace and wisdom, please put this damn plane on the ground before I lose my mind.”
I had to call on the power of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. It times like these, you need the whole Trinity.
The boy up front was still throwing up when we finally landed. For those of you that have flown before you know when you get to the ground they turn off the air and it got all hot and funky in the plane. The vomit started to steam and I started gagging. My stomach is sensitive in that respect.
“Jesus, hear my prayer. I ask that you get me off this plane as quickly as possible. Thank you, in Your holy name, we pray.”
I had to pee. The vomit was rocking. The boy next to me had to pee. All the kids were freaking out. I was like please, Lord, get me off this plane!
Eric thanked me for helping him get through the ordeal. He said, “If you weren’t here, I would probably be freaking out.” I like to think I was useful. He then said, “It’s just so funny though. You’re like a church person, but then you’re goth. Weird.” Hahahaha. I thought that was cute.
Eventually we did get off the plane, and I wish I could tell you that our adventure ended there.
It was like the day that would not end. We go to get our luggage and needed to take a cab to my car that was parked at the Pentagon. Why was the line for a cab mad long? We saw all these people and I was like, “Okay, the Pope must be coming” and this guy was like, “This is the line for cabs.”
I swear to God, if one more thing went wrong I think I was going to lose my mind for sure. We stood in line for about 45 minutes waiting for a cab. It was cold. Windy. Raining. I was so tired that my bone marrow hurt. Ceciley told me she was tired down to her red blood cells, and I said that I was tired to the nuclei in my red blood cells.
We finally get in a cab and when we get to the car, the rain had just really started to pour down. We were struggling with the luggage, for some reason Ceciley’s bag would not go int the back seat, even though it fit perfectly fine on the way out.
So, does the story end? No, it doesn’t! Ceciley’s street is flooded and we had to go around the whole universe to take the back way to her house. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was going to pull over on the side of the road and sleep there like a homeless person.
After I left her house to get to mine, the rain was coming down so hard I couldn’t see. I have poor night vision and the rain just made it worse. Everyone was driving so slowly. I jsut felt like I was on the road to nowhere. Seriously, this was the Trail of Tears, like I was on the road to Chun King after the fall of Saigon.
I did not step in my front door until well after midnight.
And now the story is over.