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Plane to St. Pete

Another long day.
My cousin Doug and his wife took me to the airport in Charlotte. So we rode with Doug and Margaret. I hate to ask them, but I didn’t want Mama trying to find her way around in Charlotte. I’d probably have been in Tampa before she made it back to Kings Mountain.
It was hard on Mama to watch me go. They could only accompany me to the security area. I talked them into leaving. There was no point in them standing there watching me go through a long, long line. Poor Mama. She’d walk about ten feet and turn back to look at me. Then she’d go about another ten feet and turn back to look at me. She did that four or five times, until she couldn’t make me out anymore. I imagine she sees this as a bit more final than I do. But then she’s used to me sleeping on her couch every weekend. Now I’m leaving her alone. She had to be feeling awful lonely walking across that airport. I tried not to think about it too much while I was standing in line at Security, though. I don’t think they let weepy men onto airplanes these days.
The flight down to Atlanta was interesting. I sat next to a pretty black lady who liked to talk. She was a professional decorator, and told me all about it. I have to admit to being a little distracted at times, though. She was wearing a low cut shirt that showed a goodbit of cleavage. Being that I was much taller than she was, every time I looked down at her when we were talking, I was looking right down her shirt. Sometimes I’m stunned to realize that I am a man, after all. But then again, she definitely had something worth showing off.
The layover in Atlanta was uneventful. When we landed I went immediately to my gate. Got something to eat. Bought a few magazines. Then I kicked back for some waiting. My layover in Atlanta was an hour and forty five minutes. But given the time it took to get from the far end of one concourse to the far end of another concourse, round up food and goodies, I probably only waited at the gate for twenty or thirty minutes.
The flight down to Tampa was largely uninteresting. I flew on a 787. I think, anyway. It looked fairly new. Had seven seats in a row. Two on each side and three in the middle. I was surprised we flew on such a big plane to Tampa, but who knows where it was going from there? Or where it had come from? The only interesting moments on the plane came from a group of yuppie men who seemed to have pegged me for trash or something (from their glances), but seemed genuinely surprised when I whipped out my National Geographic and Time magazines to read on the way down. Learn the lesson, fellas. Appearances can be deceiving. Never trust in your own prejudices.
When I landed at Tampa, I had no more than left the airport and sat down before Victoria drove up. Sweet! No waiting. 🙂
So all in all, the trip down was relatively painless. And when I walked into the house in Saint Petersburg, all I could think was that it was damned good to be home. I was immediately comfortable in the car. Comfortable holding Victoria’s hand on the way to the house. And comfortable rolling up that exit for Saint Petersburg. I felt like I had wandered in the wilderness, but had made my way, at last, home. This time it was no vacation. It was official. I really can’t think of the words to express how that made me feel. I won’t even try. Besides, I shouldn’t write everything here. Some things should be kept to myself, I think.
If I have any regrets, it’s thinking of Mama walking alone through that airport. I know Doug and Margaret were ahead of her somewhere, but I couldn’t see them. Mama might have seen her baby standing in a line, getting ready to board a plane. But her baby saw his mother walking by herself through an airport, looking back, and seeming very much alone. It’ll take me some time to shake that one.

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