Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A ticket to my destination. . . .

I always wanted to start a travel essay that way. That song sticks in my head when I travel. Thank you, Simon and Garfunkel.
Today I am somewhere over a state between Illinois and California. Since I cannot see the ground and have no navigation information handy, I have no clue where we are, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas? I guess it really doesn’t matter anyway, so long as I am on the right plane. My computer says it is 6:47 PM so I have been in the air for 1-1/2 hours and have around 2-1/2 to go until my arrival in San Diego.
I departed uneventfully unless you count wasting time getting ready and then having to rush. I didn’t realize until in the taxi on the way to the airport that I neglected to pack any bathroom supplies, e.g. toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, headache medication and so on. Good thing I’m a doctor. If I have a migraine emergency, I can write my own prescription. I did accidentally bring a prescription pad that was in my laptop bag that I didn’t have time to clean out, which may come in handy.
I did remember the essentials—computer, camera, and more books than I can possibly read while at a conference. I also brought my latest magazine reading—Pychotherapy Networker and ADDitude. Somehow given the procrastinating and forgetting I mentioned above, reading a magazine about ADHD is fitting.
This trip may turn out to be more of an adventure than I had wanted. I had planned/hoped to stay with my aunt in the San Diego area but for reasons I do not understand, have not been able to reach her. I kept trying until literally minutes before my flight so I don’t have a hotel reserved. I doubt I’ll be sleeping in a doorway somewhere (this sort of happened to me in college when I launched an impulsive road trip), because if all else fails, I’ll check into a really mundane airport hotel or a really expensive luxury hotel. When I was in college that time, I couldn’t afford either.
Pardon me we’re having turbulence. The seat belt light just came on. This doesn’t bug me unless it makes me spill a drink or the lurching is enough to make me queasy, but it does make me think of my past clinical work with people who are afraid of flying. Fortunately for me, despite a mother and grandparents who feared air travel, I consider plane crash stories to be interesting reading. I read Alive (about the soccer team that crashed in the Andes and was forced to eat their dead to survive) when only a teenager and look forward to reading the recent revisiting of the gruesome topic (see ad below).
Speaking of irrational or rational fears, I learned at the airport that today there was an Orange Alert. I forget exactly what that means, except that like a yellow light it must be between green and red. I have no clue what the trigger for this alert is (if it has even been announced by our secretive government) and can’t Google it as I am in the air. Cynic that I am, I wonder if it has anything to do with it being two weeks before a crucial election. Or maybe it is like the buildings in Chicago that currently have orange lights on their tops in honor of Halloween. It is to get us into the holiday mood.
Trick or treat! Signing out from 20,000 feet or thereabouts.

No comments: