An Impromptu Trip to New York

Lets call it Thursday, September the 7th.  I got a call from my beloved father.  He asks me, in a very nonchalant way, something to the effect of, “Hey, look here.  I have an extra ticket to go see Andrea Bochelli in Central Park, would you like to go?”  I can’t quite recall my initial reactions or feelings at the time, but I figured that opportunities like these don’t come around to people like me very often.  So I figured I’d latch onto this train and get a second chance.

I say second chance because when I was 17 years old, my Dad and I went to New York City with my church at the time.  Back then I was a bratty teenage “arse” who thought he had a whole host of problems to deal with.  So, I was both enjoying New York City and wallowing in my overly self-involved drama.  Look back at the photos taken at the time and you’d probably interpret my facial expressions in the pictures as mix between a garden-variety moping emo/gothic teenager {Minus the clothing and makeup} waxing idiotic at a coffee shop or anyone having to forcefully sit through and watch the Halloween Remake {Or any Rob Zombie movie}.  Needless to say, it looked like I was not enjoying myself in New York or being with my Dad.  None were absolutely true despite what my mood portrayed.  None-the-less, I was going to make good use of this trip to the Big Apple and I was going to have a wonderful time with my Dad…

New York, New York

Wednesday Night Until the Wee Hours of Thursday Morning 

Scared to death that a series of unfortunate events would have prevented me from catching my flight from Greenville, South Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina, I decided to TRY to get some sleep at about 9ish on a Wednesday night.  Now keep in mind that my flight left at 6:45am and Greenville is two hours away.  The general rule of thumb when flying is to arrive at the airport two hours before the flight.  So I calculated that I needed to leave the house by 1:30am.  I got out of bed not having slept one minute.  Dreading having to experience the City That Never Sleeps, not having slept myself, I decided to cope with a double quarter meal from McDonalds.

So I arrived at the airport, got my boarding pass and headed to the security checkpoint.  This was my first exciting event of the trip; either the TSA inappropriately touches me or I get photographed to look like a naked T-1000.

I figured I had a once in a lifetime chance of getting touched slightly inappropriately by a complete stranger or posing for a semi-nude photo.  Now let me state for the record, it’s not my life’s ambition to be treated like a piece of meat by the TSA.  If I could have breezed through security to avoid the inconvenience, I would have.  I figured I’d find the silver lining of humor in the situation.  I figured all the celebrities love having compromising photos out there on the net for the world to see.  Or, at the very least, if the TSA searches me, I could feel like a rapper being frisked at the gate by security before entering the Source Hip Hop Awards show.  Sadly, security passed over me and searched the lady in her late 60’s.  It doesn’t do wonders for the self-esteem when a random stranger prefers to touch one of the cast members of the Golden Girls than me.  And it doesn’t help that a Social Security beneficiary looks more of a threat than I do.  Perhaps I should have yelled Allahu Akbar and bolted after I passed security.

So I made it to my gate and popped a squat on one of the connected chairs in the terminal.  I felt led to at least try to get some shuteye so I put on my sunglasses, popped in my headphones and navigated to my “Sleep” play list and attempted to sleep.  Before the first song ended, three voices bled through my nice relaxing music.  I opened my eyes to find the source of the annoyance; 3 gentlemen engaged in idle chitchat.  It’s the kind of banter that people feel compelled to do in awkward situations with strangers.  Amongst the many topics being discussed, one of them was about the movie The Terminal.  It’s a movie about a displaced refugee (Tom Hanks] who cannot leave the “terminal” because his passport is no longer valid due to the overthrow of his country’s government.   Apparently invalid passports are the absolute worst-case scenario in the event your country’s sovereignty is null and void.   I couldn’t help but be annoyed by the fact that these guys choose to pass on the awkward moments of silence to talk about a movie about waiting in an airport… while waiting in an airport.  I know these are small quibbles but I was both extremely exhausted and very excited.  I was hoping that the energy of the Big Apple would invigorate me, compensating for my lack of sleep.  But New York City was 751 miles away and I had to tolerate people making movie-to-real-life connections based on our current surroundings.

{Upcoming links are to movies that have some language.  I think you can handle it}

Now that I think about it, I should have joined in on the conversation and reminisced about the time I saw the first Final Destination movie in which the star of the movie was going on his senior trip.  While on the tarmac, he has a dream about his plane blowing to pieces soon after takeoff.  He wakes up in a panic and demands that everyone get off the plane.  He only succeeds in getting a hand full of his peers off the plane. One the students gazes upon their former flight taking off and low and behold, the plane explodes and the shockwave shatters the glass of the terminal.  I bet that would have ended all annoying plane-related stories.  Thankfully, none of these guys sat next to me.

Up Next:

Life in the Fast Lane: The Ride from LaGuardia Airport to our Hotel

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