I tore around the cabin, looking for my license. Pete, upon learning that I could not find my license, but was going to leave anyways, told me to take my backpack with me. This way, if I was stopped, I could at least play the dumb shit by rooting around for my license before confessing that I didn’t have it with me.
I figured that I’d also hand Officer Friendly my passport, so this way he would not think that I was from outer space. With this in mind, I looked in my backpack for this item, but came up empty-handed. Oh oh, I thought. Now I’m doubly screwed.
On the drive to town, I figured out that I most likely misplaced my driver’s license when I went through the Anchorage TSA. And I most likely misplaced my passport when I went through the Portland TSA.
This made perfect sense. I get very anxious about flying and for this reason fall into a state of complete disarray when going through airport security. I try to do as other travelers do, and prepare for the Big Event (unloading one’s carry-on items beforehand), but, of course, I fall short of my desired goal, which is to appear like I have no physical or mental baggage. I suspect that if I flew more frequently, that I wouldn’t have this problem because, undoubtedly, I’d be less stressed.
The last time was par for the course. I threw stuff into bins, forgetting to remove my shoes. People behind me then began grumbling, as I took a moment to take them off. Then, when I was asked if I had a lap top, said yes, to which the TSA checker said that I’d need to remove it from my pack. Tee shirts, socks, and underwear went flying as I attempted to extricate it. Midway through the process I said something about my iPad being buried in my belongings, to which Ms. TSA said that a laptop is not an iPad, and therefore, I didn’t need to remove it.
I tossed my near empty backpack in one gray tub, and everything else in three other tubs. By now the line behind me was quite long. I sent it flying into the x-ray machine, and then stepped into the body check machine. After being okayed, I put on my shoes, stuffed my stuff in my backpack and pockets, and headed to Gate C-5, where passengers were already boarding the plane. In the midst of this, I forgot about double-checking to see where my passport was.
Now I had neither my license nor passport on hand. Getting new documentation was going to be a huge problem. I’d have to have Pete take me to DMV and to the post office. And I didn’t want to tell Pete, who is not very trusting of his absent minded partner. I can’t blame him. It is disconcerting for him to be constantly having to be responding to the refrain “I can’t find this or that.”
I also knew that I would need to act quickly on this matter. I needed a license to drive and a passport for going through Canada.
I was early for yoga. So I sat waiting in my car for Dori, the instructor, to appear and open the back door of the studio. I had nothing else to do, which was why I again checked my wallet. I wasn’t expecting to find my license; rather, I was again verifying that it wasn’t there. But there it was, tucked inside the card holder. I looked at it and then breathed a huge sigh of relief because now I could at least drive to the P.O. solo and pick up a new passport application form.
On impulse, I decided to again check my backpack for my wallet. I was convinced that this was not there. However, it was there – I’d tucked it into a side pocket while waiting for the plane home.
Needless to say, finding these items made my whole day. And being early, this made for a longer day. If there was a lesson to be learned – and I did learn it – it’s to (in the future) remain hyperconscious as to where these two items are when going through TSA. This ought not to be that hard to do. I got off easy this time, and at the same time learned this valuable lesson.
These finds were so momentous that I am going to remain happy for the rest of the day, and well into tomorrow.
Next: 129: 5/9/13: