Really…Really…? I guess this is happening.
Ugg, now what? Smiling on the outside, cringing on the inside – that’s what.
I knew I’d have to be patient, but this is ridiculous. My heels are killing me, but I’ll be damned if I wear something with zipps to the airport. It’s all about streamlining…but of course, that comes with experience, not happenstance.
At this point I’d almost rather meet Lukas at our destination’s hotel, nevermind negotiate airport security with a novice. This should be straightforward. Wouldn’t it have been patronizing to have given him a rundown? But now that this situation is turning into a circus, it looks like it would have saved us both a bit of grief. The stress is doing nothing for airport glam.
We’ve been up since 4am. Travel is in the here and now. You can do all the prep you can, but that’s in the past. Now it’s go-time. You’ve got to go with the flow.
I practically pulled an all nighter packing and primping. Three hours of sleep is going to do zilch for my radiance. Adjusting my navigators, it’s time to hop the shuttle for LAX. Only thing is, where’s Lukas. You can’t be serious?! We have just enough time to make this work. He can’t possibly be fiddling around with his gear.
“I’ll just be a sec…” I flash a pseudo glowing grin to the driver. Where is this guy? Nothing like a tight schedule, lack of sleep and caffeine to get you hot and bothered. With heels tapping, I make my way back to the courtyard, swiftly grab Lukas’s luggage, and wheel it over to the idling shuttle. Finally Lukas bounds down the stairs. “Sorry about that Kate.” He says out of breath. “Uh huh, no worries.” Hopefully the plane’s delayed, I wistfully think.
Loaded up, the driver jerks his way into rush hour traffic. Stay positive, I think. Everything’s fine. Totally fine. We don’t need all the time in the world, just enough.
Now that we’re momentarily settled in, I take in our surroundings and do a sneak peek of our seat mates. I’m trying to be economical and thought a ride share was the way to go. It’s fine, really. I actually secretly wonder where everyone’s off to, though I don’t dare ask. I’m not one of those overly-chatty-I-need-to-know-everything-about-perfect-strangers travelers. Friendly smile, maybe a few conversational musings, and leave it at that.
I nonchalantly glance back and take my time panning the enormous shuttle windows pretending to survey the street action. Really, I’m checking people out in the window’s reflection. Two full sleeves of tattoos in his mid-20s is casually texting away while sprawled out across the entire backseat. By all means, make yourself at home, but god knows who else’s been back there. I’m half tempted to offer him some hand sanitizer. Apparently Sleeves is in high demand. Every five minutes or so his phone pings and he dutifully taps away at the screen.
A lady toward the front is still tugging away at her seatbelt. Yank…yank… “Miss, is everything all right?” The driver inquires. “I’m just….trying….to get this … latched.” She states with halted breaths. Oh, crap. He’s pulling over. Really? Now? It’s a seatbelt, how tricky can it be? Why can’t people think through the stress? Crap, he really is pulling over.
Jerking to the right and barely what you’d call “parking,” he quickly rounds the van. Sliding open the door he peers at her. “Pull it over.” He instructs, taking a closer look. “I AM pulling it over!” Says Seatbelt with an exasperated expression. “Like this.” He does an air demo. Really? Apparently Seatbelt is totally flustered and yanking the nylon like her life’s depending on it. She must have triggered the safety on this thing by now and that’s why it’s only releasing two inches at a time.
“Here, like this…let me…” The driver attempts to give her hand directions and finally just reaches over her rotund frame. omg…Cringing, I notice he’s practically in her lap. Talk about invasion of space. Don’t smirk, but how long is this going to take anyway? She may just have to hold on tight at this point. After dropping an F-bomb, Seatbelt finally gets herself secured. With beads of sweat dotting her forehead, she faux fans herself with her hands. Great, let’s get on with it.
Sleeves seems to have selective observation and seems unruffled by the exchange.
“Did you reserve me a window or an aisle?” Lukas conversationally inquires. Window or an aisle? Hmm… “I picked out a middle.” I say, already sensing it’s the wrong answer. “A middle? For me? You know I like the window.” Really? You’ve flown like twice in the past five years. Who knew you were a regular by the window. “It’s fine, really. Take mine – it’s just a short flight anyway.” I say, trying to save the mood. Normally I’m against the middle with every fiber of my being. I’m leggy and it cramps my style to transform myself into an oragamy, but what’s an hour and a half between friends?
Sleeves has been burning it up texting. Finally the cell actually rings and in hushed tones has a quick chat. “Love you too…” Ending his call with a sing-song grand finale. Clearly the person on the other end thinks Sleeves overslept and is going to miss his flight…or he’s cheating. Maybe he’s cheating, I secretly ponder.