My flight was delayed. What was supposed to be a long 5 hour layover in Toronto turned into a nightmarish 9 hour crawl through time. I'm still three hours away from being able to board my 45 minute flight home to Cleveland.
I'm not sure if it's the fact that i haven't slept in nearly three days, or its the change in temperature, but my body is aching. My attitude is edgy, and completely base. I have lost all signs of humanity, and my train of thought is hateful and paranoid.
I watch people walk by me with their square, little lives packed into carry on bags. I wonder what's inside.
I am surrounded by 30 dollar airport dinners, a huge backpack and an inconveniently packed tote bag. I can't even type that well, because my hands are raw and shaky from lack of water. I guess this is good for me to beat the jet lag. I have no other choice than to be awake. I'm fumbling around like an infant trying to constantly rearrange my things so I can stretch out and maybe doze off, but the caffeine from the last four hours is kicking in. I am jittery and exhausted. Not really asleep and not really awake.
A family positions themselves in the only other empty seats in the terminal, next to me. They're all carrying individual chip bags, the youngest one knocks into my computer spilling the crumbs on to my keyboard. The mother apologizes in a different language. I don't smile.
Originally I was supposed to arrive in Cleveland at 3:30, but now, it's 5:45. My insides are twisting inside and out. I'm sure the elderly passengers that surround me are questioning why someone so young, and so tired has been sitting in the airport terminal for nearly 6 hours. People come and go, countless planes take off and for a second I imagine myself under one, exploding out of the sky.
No. That's just the exhaustion talking. I want to go home. Desperation makes people do crazy things. Like I said, just because you are in a different time zone, doesn't mean you're a different person. This terminal feels like a hospital waiting room. Most of the people here are over the age of 60. They're traveling to the midwestern cities of Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
They're talking on the phone, probably to people who are wondering where the hell they are. They're taking laps around the tiny rectangular area, stretching their legs as if they had been sitting the entire day. I, who have been doing just that, have my legs propped up on my oversized backpack, purposefully crushing the contents on the top...just because I'm pissed.
Thanksgiving travel sucks. It's the last thing you want to be doing this week. Airports are lonely. Sterile. Like a hospital at three A.M.
I watch people board their plane, and time and again I wish I were them. I look like hell. Like crossing the International Date Line hell. the kind of hell that's 36 hours old and rotting from the outside in. Three more hours. You can do it. You've made it a full 24.
I'm chugging a Red Bull Zero like it was the last liquid on earth, and the jitters start again, proof that no matter how indestructible you think you are, exhaustion will always get you.
After 48 full hours of traveling I arrived in Cleveland at 10P.M. I rode one of those jankey little planes with propellers instead of wings. It was stuck on the tarmac for 2 hours because people couldn't find the plane, and I guess Canadians are nice or something, because we waited for them. For 45 minutes. Then we got stuck because the ground crew had to go help another plane.
Anyway, the ride was terrifying. Even worse was the 12 hour wait for a 45 minute trip. Go figure.
I'm thankful and happy to be home.