My eyes snap open and I check the time on my cell phone. It’s 2:45 a.m. My alarm was set for 3:00, but as usual I was unable to sleep much. I sit up, cracking the multiple joints that make my body sound like a bowling ball rolling over a bag of Corn Flakes. I slip on “Old Faithful”, a hooded sweatshirt I’ve been wearing at home for over ten years, and make my way downstairs, careful not to wake my family.
The added fifteen minutes is a blessing, as it gives me some added time to grab a shower before my pre-scheduled taxicab shows up at my driveway. I grab a few sips of an energy drink and slip into a hot shower, letting the steam and scalding water rejuvenate me for the day ahead. My head is pounding due to the fact that yesterday, I received my lovely eye injections.
I double check my bags and ensure I have everything I will need for the days to come and pile everything at the entrance to my home. I choose to check on my children and kiss my wife goodbye before getting my boots and coat on, thereby ensuring that I may get away without waking them. I was wrong.
I slip out into the morning chill, and the first thing I notice is the absence of a breeze and a sky full of stars. This is promising, I tell myself. Clear weather always makes for a better flight. At only -4 degrees Celsius, the morning has a mild child but isn’t cold. I bring all the cardboard recycling to our blue bin, anxious to burn through the remaining time before my cab arrives. My wife steps into the kitchen, allowing me the benefit of another kiss and hug before I leave. After all, it will be the last I see of her for the remainder of the week.
At 3:20 a.m., my cab driver calls me. He can’t find my house, despite the address on the reservation, instructions related to an outside light being intentionally left on and the SUV in the driveway. I tell him I will wait at the curb. He picks me up, and apologizes for the confusion. I tell him it’s no problem, and I climb into the back seat with my bags. I’m perfectly content to sit in pre-caffeinated silence for the fifteen-minute ride to the airport, but my driver begins asking open-ended questions about my flight and where I’m from that lead me to believe that he intends on indulging in idle chitchat. I humor him and converse for a few moments until he shows me the very large Tim Horton’s coffee he grabbed himself on the way to pick me up. Dick.
He drops me off at the “Departures” door of the airport and the fare is $27.00, which would ultimately allow me to make the transit from my home to the airport 22 times using my personal vehicle, given its fuel capacity and the distance. I silently curse the cost and slip out into the morning chill before entering the building. I obtain my boarding passes and make my way through the security checkpoint. As usual, the screening agents hesitate for a moment and frown as I explain that neither my pump nor my bottle of insulin can go through the x-ray machine and that I will need a pat down as opposed to the machine.
Then, I found myself sitting in an empty airport. The departure gates have all been renovated since my last flight (which was only five months ago) and are now listed by number instead of letter. Weird. The only good thing I notice is a brand new Tim Horton’s kiosk that will allow me to supplement the bit of energy drink I guzzled before walking out of my home. I have at least another hour before my flight boards. Here we go again; I’m headed to New Brunswick.
The first leg of my flight was reasonably uneventful. That is, until I reached Toronto-Pearson Airport… They then decided that “our gate is currently in use by another aircraft”, so we were waiting on the tarmac like a bunch of idiots! My thinking was, arrange it with the control tower to pull into a different gate, but what do I know? Well, I knew that it was currently 10:20 and the next leg of my flight was boarding while I was sitting in the first aircraft!
When I got inside the airport, I panicked and ran like my life depended on it! Then these two douche-canoes were standing side-by-side on the moving platform, chatting like a couple of school girls with me panting behind them. I coughed and excused myself twice, but they just looked and carried on. I then jumped the barricade and ran along the regular floor, leaving them in my wake.
I reached gate D35 where my very short flight to Montreal was APPARENTLY in the process of boarding. When I got to the gate, everyone was still waiting to be called up! Not only were they late with starting to board (which was good, I guess) but my run in a heavy, black winter coat caused me to become sweaty and extremely uncomfortable. I touched down at Montreal-Trudeau Airport, made my connecting flight to Fredericton and touched down just shortly after 3:30 p.m. local time.
Once I was permanently on the ground, I was able to grab my rental vehicle and enjoyed an hour of travelling in a vehicle that I alone was controlling. Now, I’m sitting in my hotel room, trying to consolidate my thoughts before the business that brought me home for the second time in six months. Tomorrow should be interesting! On the plus side, I will get to see yet another friend I haven’t spent time with, in over a decade. ☯