I’ve found my departure gate, at the end of the terminal. It’s pleasant here, very quiet and serene. This makes me more than a little self-conscious about the frequent sniffles that my histamine attacks bring on, and reminds me continuously that I am still living on the histamine threshold, the invisible and variable boundary water between “Normal/OK” and “Misery”. Much like my Asperger’s/autistic characteristic of black-and-whiteness, there’s little in-between on the histamine front, too.
This histamine stuff also brings into annoying awareness the realization that I did indeed forget something when I was packing for this trip: my posh, premium tissues. Kleenex–the tough, sturdy kind with the lotion built in. I have a pocket/purse-packet of the basic type, but that just won’t do. I know these things; I have a lot of experience.
It does not matter how thoroughly I pack, how short my trip is going to be, how many scenarios and virtual what-if games I walk myself through, how heavy or stuffed-to-capacity my suitcase turns out to be, or how many times I agonize and “Rain-Man” the crap out of my pack-list; there is a fourth Newton’s Law of Nature:
I’m going to forget something. Usually just one thing. But something. Every. Single. Time. Without fail. It’s a universal constant. Maybe it’ll even get its own Greek letter.
But hey, at least my gate is quiet, the odds of which would put a Vegas Casino to shame. Except for my sniffling, all is calm, all is bright. (I’ll take a moment now to apologize to my gate-mates for being That Guy, the one–and there’s always one–who makes repetitive, incessant noise. An annoying type of noise, too, because it’s not loud enough to lodge a complaint or protest, small enough that one would probably feel like a dick for saying anything, but it still grates nonetheless. I know. I’m sorry. Believe me, if I could have, I would have checked my immune system at the door. Or allowed the security agents to confiscate it. Seriously.)
But hey, if it makes anyone feel any better, I did just pop a single-action Benadryl. FunFact: I can indeed swallow those puppies without water. They’re not even coated on the outside for easy lubrication. I’m just that awesome. Or something.
My gate remains remarkably sparsely populated. Obviously, this is a relief. I should go to Los Angeles more often. I thought that with the number of California plates I see on the road in The Alamo City, I thought for sure I would be walking into a packed flight. But maybe not.
A couple agents at the gate are talking with unseen people via walkie-talkie. My spiny senses, and my cynicism senses, start to tingle somewhat.
My motto pops back into my head, having lain dormant for the past five months since my last trip (might as well consider this another universal constant, Newton’s Fifth Law):
I’m flying; therefore, I’m delayed.
Seriously, both themes–the flight delays and the forgetting something–are so reliable they hold a candle to the Atomic Clock in Boulder (Colorado).
I’m never sure what the holdup will be, but I’ve been the hapless traveler in many a situation: mechanical trouble with the aircraft, flight crew bumping up against their legal work limits, missing flight crew, severe weather, inspection issues, and so on. I’ve had flights canceled on me so many times I’ve lost count.
I love traveling though. I can’t say it’s always a pleasure, but it’s always an adventure, and in the grand scheme of life the way I see it, adventures are good.
Traveling appeals to my Aspergian sense of wanting to escape, temporarily bridge-burn without long-lasting consequences, to assume an alternate avatar and get to go be someone else, somewhere else, for a while.
Traveling also gives me common conversational ground to cover with neurotypical people. The weather in a certain place at a certain time of year, or the amenities or layout of a particular airport or the accommodations of a particular airline or hotel can make for excellent Neuro-universal small talk options, shrinking the Small Talk Suckage Factor.
Yep, the Benadryl has kicked in. I’m not tired or fuzzy (but even if I was, would I even be able to notice it right now? I’m guessing it wouldn’t be too much of a deviation from my recent norm), but I feel myself getting ever-so-subtly calmer. Like I might not even go ballistic or roll my eyes out loud if the walkie-talkie convo (which I can’t hear) actually does indeed pertain to an issue that would involve a flight delay. That radio traffic has stopped anyway, and the agents at the gate-desk are chatting. Judging by their facial expressions, I’m guessing there are no potential passenger-agitating issues.
Three cheers for miracles. I do believe in them. I feel funny saying “believe” when it comes to half the stuff I “believe” in. After all, not a religion; it’s just empirical data. Not all of which I can explain. But who cares; my lack of ability to explain something doesn’t make it any less real.
Another miracle: no extremely-loud children at my gate. This would be a first, and that’s saying something; I’ve flown well over several dozen times in my life. If there are any children on this flight at all (and believe me, any flight originating in or ending up in Texas is going to have (usually lots of) children on the flight). Most of them sweet but overwhelmingly noisy. Their shrill vocals and my frayed nerves are typically incompatible by definition.
I’m looking forward to this flight in particular, due to another “first”: I’m flying First Class, for the first time. It’s not super-impressive–as in, it’s not a big plane, so First Class is not separated into its own cabin; it’s essentially the first few rows of the plane. It’s basically Coach/Economy with adequate personal space–dimensions of leg room appropriate for the average length of the lower limb and seat width that coincides with the wingspan of the average set of human shoulders.
But hey–I’m jazzed about having my human leg-length and shoulder-width appropriate personal space! Like I said, it’s a first.
I should totally fly First Class to LA more often. With sensory issues, histamine excess, spotty memory, Asperger’s/autism quirks, and all. 😉
I’m sure there’s something abnormal about finishing a blog post on a plane (we’re still parked, going through the boarding process). But what the hey.
See you all on the other side. 😉