Darling, I miss you – day 3

Darling, I miss you. Don't worry, it's a short one today. Actually it probably won't get sent today; I may have to finish it tomorrow. My appointment is early in the morning, but I don't know how long I'll be stuck there, so I'll have to check out of the hotel first thing in the morning before I leave. And then, after that, I don't know how much I'll be able to be in touch for the rest of the day. The parking lot is underground; I won't be able to get a signal. More than that, my batteries have to last the rest of the day. I won't get a chance to recharge them after I leave the room. I forgot the cable that let me charge the phone off the computer; I'm not exactly a well-seasoned business traveler, I don't know all the tricks. I've got to let you know what happens with the plane flight tonight; whether I get a seat with my standby ticket. If I don't, I won't be home until tomorrow. And if I do, well, I have to let you know to meet me at the airport. It seems everyone wants to call me on the 'phone and ask what's going on this morning. At this rate, the battery isn't going to last.

I have no idea what you're thinking right now about this appointment. I'm hoping, three hours behind, you're actually still asleep and won't be thinking about it at all, but somehow I know that's not going to happen. Don't worry, it'll all be all right. Once this bit is done, there shouldn't be any more of these details to get in the way of the things we want to do. I've been thinking about this a lot. It's taken years to get this done. In fact, for years it has seemed almost impossible to get done at all. And yet, ever since meeting you, I've had the intent, the focus, the motivation to complete this process, to have all the credentials in place, for us. Only a few days ago, it seemed that we were in an impossible bind, yet somehow, together, we managed to make this trip happen.

I'm out of the appointment now. It went well; I went down to the cafeteria and grabbed a wholesome breakfast of sausage and eggs, about the most flavorful thing I've had all the time I've been gone. The staff eventually understood all the paperwork I'd brought with me; I feel good about that. The technician wasn't so fond of me, I'm afraid. She called me uncooperative. If she only knew how much effort I've been through to be this cooperative; traveling all the way across the country at a moment's notice. It took me a while to spiral out of the underground parking lot; spiral ever further out of the one-way system; spiral further and further out of the town itself, trying to reach escape velocity. The problem is, it'll be almost eleven hours before I have a chance of getting on a flight. What can I do for eleven hours? Shopping. Shopping and shopping and more shopping. I need to find a thank-you card for L. It would be really nice if they made a thank-you card that expressed the sentiment the way I'd like to express it; I don't want thanks for condolences, I want thanks for help and support. There's a Half Price Books in this strip mall over here. You have no idea how much I miss seeing those; this used to be my favorite place to shop. They have a paperback that I've been looking for, seemingly for years. I'll buy it with the loose change I have in my pocket. Yes, that's right. I need to get rid of that loose change anyway. It'll make it easier to get through airport security. Yes, absolutely, that's the only reason I'm buying this book.

The food never got any better, I'm afraid. My stomach has been nervous the entire time I've been here. Half the time I've been starving, the other half, I've felt deathly ill and over full. I'm eating but only for survival reasons. I'm not hungry at this moment, but I had better eat lunch, just in case I don't get a good dinner in the airport. I might have to camp out in the airport overnight if I can't get a flight, and there might not be a great selection of food that late. Yuck. Ouch. It hurts. It's getting hot and humid, the temperature is building, the humidity is rising. it's the middle of the day; I'd love to take a nap. But where? Those couches in the corner of Buns and Noodles look exceptionally inviting. I wonder if they'd mind if I brought my own book in. OK, it's about time I admitted it to myself. I've had far too much fun today. I've still got several hours to go, but I've got nothing else I can do with my time. I can read my books in the airport. I may as well just check in, and wait. And wait. And wait. And, if I get disappointed, wait some more.

OK, I'm in the airport now. It seems they have the full body scanners in place here; that was a terrifyingly Orwellian experience. Apparently they saw a problem; a 'shadow' in the vicinity of my left calf. No, I don't possibly know what it could be, perhaps some scar tissue from an accident over thirty years ago, that's all I could think of. So I ended up being examined the old-fashioned way. It's a frightening array of technology; run from a console the size of Jean-Luc Picard's bridge. It seems the security staff in this airport outnumber the passengers. Hardly anyone is here, and I've still got many hours to go. I'm exhausted, I keep dozing off, but not for significant amounts of time. I wake and check the time again; only a few more minutes have elapsed. I'm trying to ration my battery on the 'phone. Only one and a half bars, now. I have to have enough to let you know if there's a free seat on the flight; and that's a long time away. Oh. That half bar just disappeared. I'm on the last one now, and it's yellow. I'm turning it off, going incommunicado for a few hours. I'm not going to like that; being away from you is one thing; being disconnected from you is something else. I can scrunch up my eyeballs and think of you, send you a message that way. We used to have to do that all the time.

The flight is coming in from Orlando, no doubt absolutely full of people wearing Mickey ears. It seems the airport has suddenly got busy; not so long ago the place seemed deserted; now, as the flight approaches, of course it's packed. I have no idea whether or not there'll be a seat available. I'm getting nervous about whether I'll be able to send you a message. I fidget and wander over to one of those recharging stations; three dollars for a 50% charge in 30 minutes. That sounds like a deal I can handle; and I've got precisely 30 minutes until the incoming flight arrives. Hmmm. This isn't working right. The charge light is barely glowing. I'll try to turn the phone on; yep, there's a lightning bolt there, it's supposed to be doing something. No bar. I'll look again in five minutes, just a peek, is this some sort of Schrödinger's Cat thing; a watched pot that never boils? Still no change. Five more minutes. Five more. Five more. Still no change. Hanging on, looking down towards the gate. There seems to be a sea of people approaching. Are they from Florida? Do they look like they're from Florida? What a silly question. I'll take my chances, unplug the 'phone, and run.

It was a gorgeous sight; my name is already up there as a passenger allocated a seat; once again, I've managed to get out on the first flight possible. I thank L again, I thank God, I thank you. I send you that message, I managed to get half a bar of battery back, after all. I'm going to be doing a lot of sleeping the next five hours. Not good sleep; I've realized, these past few days, that good sleep is only possible when it's next to you. This is just simply blacking-out sleep, exhausted, collapsing, until I get home. I was right. I didn't finish the post until two days later, still recovering, still getting used to be back home with you. Here I am, darling, all ready home to you, giving you all my attention, realizing just how much that means while I've been away from you. I never would take that for granted anyway; but being gone has made me feel that all the deeper. I won't miss a single moment with you. Just let me finish writing this first.

About darlingman1970

Born in the UK and a graduate in mathematics from Cambridge University, Chris Nash has followed a career in software engineering which he continued after moving the United States in 1996 and now brings him to California in 2010. However, Chris does not want to be considered as merely a code monkey, and has always been interested in writing; in areas as diverse as factual technical manuals all the way through to fiction. An avid reader, Chris is a fan particularly of mystery novels and enjoys above all the works of Agatha Christie and David Hewson. Chris has recently gone through some significant life changes which, at the moment, he is considering as the basis for a forthcoming novel and as food for thought on his blog. He manages to couple his loves of writing and technology and is particularly interested in how internet innovations have an impact on the writing and promotional process. Chris is a firm supporter of Creative Commons and other 'open' initiatives and believes strongly that such distribution mechanisms are the "right" way to handle intellectual property in an evolving digital world. Chris is a keen Nintendo DS and Wii player in his spare time, and is currently happily attached, living in the Central Coast area of California. Find him on Twitter as @darlingman1970. Don't ask him how old he is.
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