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May 19, 2015: Between Places

Airports are the ultimate liminal space, especially if you end up having to spend any great length of time in one of them. I’m now in the void. I had a four-hour layover in Seattle. And I now have a four hour wait here in Sacramento. That’s eight hours total of hurry up and wait.

The Seattle layover was surreal. I got off the plane and began looking for the N gate – this is the one I’d need to go through in order to catch the plane to Sacramento. I soon found what I thought was it – a wall with the words N GATE written over the top. I pushed on the wall – it did not give. I walked around looking for another N Gate. I could not find one. I finally decided that N GATE was N GATE. Welcome to the Twilight Zone, I thought. I asked someone and was told that there was a gate behind the wall.

I hailed down a flight attendant who told me that the wall would open up at 4 a.m. So I lay down on two seats with no arm rest between them and went to sleep. When finally I again opened my eyes, I shook my head in disbelief. The wall was gone, and in its place was a TSA area. And to the left of it, was a sign that read GATE 9.

I stood up, grabbed my pack, and scooted past the TSA area. I was then in N GATE terrain. It was a strange deal, made stranger by the fact that I had not gotten any sleep since two nights before. The flight to Seattle had tired me out further. Pilots should really leave well enough alone. This one forewarned that there would be turbulence between Yakutat and Cordova –my fears were soon intensified – it appeared as though there was a massive storm front – one that was like a dark, ominous curtain, directly ahead of us. I finally deduced that we were flying into the dark of the evening. This is what happens when you leave the land of the midnight sun.

The second flight was a tad bit bumpy. It felt like I was riding in a dump truck with no shocks. But it was a quick, 1 ½ hour flight.

So here I am, in the Sacramento Airport Baggage area. If one must be stuck someplace, this is a good place to be stuck. I keep hearing these strange announcements such as “Alaska Airlines is paging William Pearson.” What, I wonder, do they want with him?” Maybe he won the lottery. . .

It seems like everyone has a suitcase on wheels – whoever came up with this idea must have made themselves a killing. The use of wheels eliminated the need for sky porters – that’s what they used to call them.

The baggage conveyor system has been activated. It makes a whirring sound that is interspersed by the clunk of baggage hitting the base of the moving parts. It is not flat; if it were, people like me would go for a joy ride.

Most are holding cellphones to their ears as they are trundling past. Here comes security – he’s moving fast. Outside, it’s hazy. Ate breakfast, muesli purchased at Fred Meyers as we were heading out of town. Am now going to review the clinic notes from my last visit.

163. 6/20/15: Friday Morning Lesson: Important Revelations

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