As I lay in bed last night I tried to relax, but this rather hard to do on the eve of a trip like this.
"Relax!" I told myself. "You're packed and good to go. Anything you forgot you can get on the way or at your destination".
"Unless you never get there" my pessimistic side says.
"What? What do you mean?"
"Your trip, everything you've planned for could all go south. All you have to do is over sleep, or have something delay your flight from Cleveland."
I could feel my heart rate rising. This is not the way to fall asleep. I'm already in Christmas eve mode. Time is at a near stand still. I slow my breathing and tell myself it's okay. We have an alarm clock and Rossana's internal clock always gets her up on time.
Indeed we were up right on time, and as I stood in the kitchen at 7 AM zipping up my suitcase in preparation for hauling it to the van we get... a phone call. The automated call tells me that the flight from Cleveland to D.C. for 'rzwrne fhcherruh' and 'stephm phlackkk' has been cancelled.
"Please hold while we transfer you to a reservation specialist" (aka 'The person who's head will shortly be resting on a pike in my front yard') There is a click and a bored sounding woman gets on the line. I'm having a hard time forming words.
"Mr Flack?" asks the voice.
"Pardon?" she asks.
"Pack. The name of the man who's dreams you've just crushed is Pack, not Flack. It's a small thing really, but it's all I have now" I look over to my wife and I think how sad it will be we will never see each other again when she is sent away for killing everyone at the Continental Airlines counter.
"Mr. Pack we've booked you on a direct flight to New York leaving later this afternoon." She gives me the flight info,
"You mean we're still going?" Outside the sun stops cowering behind the horizon and I swear I see flowers begin to spontaneously blossom to the tune of 'O Fortuna'.
"Yes sir, you will arrive at 5:30".
So we will have to wait around the house while. To tell the truth I wasn't crazy about our original flight. We would have been sitting around in New York for 4 hours, now we will have only 90 minutes. I'm praying that's enough time to transfer terminals and clear any security strip searches (I've done away with wearing underwear today in the interest of saving time for this procedure).