A story about minor breakdowns, Delta airlines and divine interventions!
We were being herded like weary cattle through the Memphis airport an entire plane full of people, gate had been changed, flight delayed, re-routed twice, and unknown to me… it was about to be canceled. The homey smells of barbeque had been cold for hours, not even a news stand to get a pack of gum, all the tiny souvenir Elvises on their shelves locked up tight …late night in the airport, seemingly abandoned, a lone security guard being the only one there. I don’t know what planets were in retrograde, but it had been an absolutely horrendous day for traveling. My already super low tolerance for waiting had been pushed to an entire new level and I was seriously about to loose it. I had spent over 10 hours killing time in terminals, eating airport food, breathing compressed air, worrying about what time I would finally crawl into my own bed, already thinking of the drudgery at my job that waited for me, “fuuuuucccckk I have to go back to work” I lamented to myself, my vacation high officially hit rock bottom…tears of frustration were working their way into my eyes around the time that Delta announced to all of us the 11:00pm connecting flight to NYC was cancelled and we were welcome to sleep there in the terminal, see the gate agents for more information.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me, fuck, motherfuck,” I muttered mostly to myself, but loud enough to invite any co- conspirators to my party of one melt down...I absently watched the sea of weary travelers begin to swell upon the gate desk; angry and demanding, which by all means they’d earned the right. At the end of own fragile strand of sanity, I sidestepped the frenzy and moved to quiet corner. My phone almost dead (more fucks uttered) but still enough bars to make a quick call… “Mom, I’m in Memphis and my flight to LGA just got canceled, I’m really OVER IT, where are you?” I had been on family vacation, Seaside Florida nothing but glorious beach, little pink houses and a food truck that served only grilled cheese sandwiches. My Mother and company had dropped me off at the airport in Fla 12 hours ago before they started their journey north to drive home.
“We just reached Memphis” my Mom replied officially, and then “I’m so sorry about your day” obviously sympathetic to my plight, “Calm down we will come to the airport and get you.” What a coincidence, my family was right where I was and they were coming to rescue me! My brother in law, who has a calming (almost no reaction to anything) demeanor as compared to the rest of us, who run on rather high anxious levels, was sent into the airport to fetch me, my bags, and I was safely back in the car with my family, driving over the Memphis bridge to our home in Arkansas. I stared out the window, miles and miles of farmland, every star in the night sky visible. Although I was so grateful to be safe and sound, I was still pissed. I imagined inventive ways to punish Delta airlines for their shitty service, wishing for some type of Internet fame, like if I were friends with Kanye West we could take down Delta with a single tweet.
Over breakfast the next morning everyone enjoyed a laugh at the struggle of my journey and how I ended up at my childhood hometown instead of NYC. I had to drive the back to the airport later that afternoon, but first I wanted to take care of a few things… I borrowed my Mom’s car and although I barely could remember how to drive (public transportation addict) I wanted to pass by the cemetery and visit my Father’s grave. It was something I always did when I visited my hometown. When he was alive and I was a little girl, paying respect to the graves of loved ones was something important to him, so now that he was there in that same cemetery I went to visit him.
It’s a modest stretch of land, I don’t know how big acres are, nor do I care, it’s average size for a graveyard in a small town. I see that my Dad’s headstone has fake flowers in the vase attached and I know this is a sign that my stepmother has been here to visit him, “Maybe she thinks he can still write checks from the grave”, I think, cracking myself up with this mean little joke between me and myself.
The August heat had dried up the grass it’s brown and prickly, but I still made a seat for myself in a little dusty scratchy patch, at the foot of his grave in partial shade of a nice tree. Maybe it was the aftermath of the bad day of travel, my hormones, or a crazy full moon… but I cried. I really don’t know why I did, but once I sat down the tears came.
I’m not a Daddy’s girl, I have always been independent, because I had to be, I never considered myself anyone’s and least of all his. In his living years I don’t think there are too many times I sought his advice, I learned a lot from him, how to manage money on my own, interview for a job, read a map, change a tire… but today for some unknown reason, in some type of intuitive (desperate?) whim, I called upon his now angelic powers to help guide me.
Wishing I had a cigarette to dramatically puff on while I broke down, to accentuate my level of mental instability, I sobbed through my woes of my glamorous job on Fifth Avenue that had runs its course, the best of the days far behind me. I was searching for new opportunities none had found me yet. I bemoaned my failing relationship with my longtime boyfriend who was unequivocally my best friend, my true love, not to mention on the lease for our tiny studio apartment in Park Slope. Over the summer our partnership was unraveling, I was pushing for more commitment; he was pushing back, both of us trying to hang on, no one pulling the trigger. Alex had always warned me he wasn’t the “marrying” type, this I always knew, but a woman wants what she wants; and I wanted more, biological clock ticking away, it felt just as right to want to be with a man who only half wanted me than none at all.
I begged my Dad for a sign to show me what to do, because even if my true love wasn’t ever going to marry me, or get a bigger apartment with me (in New York City it’s the same commitment) I still loved him with all my heart, I mean even angels know how complicated love can get.
I had never asked a dead man for help before. I guess I didn’t even know that was a thing. I had always believed in the afterlife; excessively curious about soul’s on the other side. Once in an extended hangout on a hot summer day in Barnes and Noble, I had read a particularly great book written by a psychic medium called Do dead people watch me shower? (As it turns out yeah they do), that shared great details of what the soul’s of our loved one’s are up to on the other side, but it had never occurred to me to really invoke angelic guidance.
In hindsight perhaps the total complete incompetence of Delta airlines had actually landed me exactly where I needed to be, confessing my troubles to my guardian angels. *Important note: You can talk to your angels anywhere any time! You were born with “free will” so it’ your choice to let your angels know to help guide your way, because they don’t just intervene on their own (I learned that from some serious Googling on the topic).
I did finally make it back to NYC, I dreaded going back to work, but such is life…. I still had a somewhat refreshed feeling and my tan was the envy of my co-workers. After a week of the city life I got back into the groove, balancing the disapointment of doing the things I didn’t want to do anymore and dreaming of possibilities the future might bring, soon it would be fall, a new season. Alex and I were still hanging in there, and over dinner al-fresco at our favorite spot we shared stories from our respective vacations he with his family, me with mine. I told him about my inexplicable emotional outburst at my routine visit to the cemetery. He smiled at me geniunely and said; “Hey you know maybe you were supposed to visit his grave and that’s why your flight got delayed and rerouted” I cherished this small simpatico moment we were having, strange for him, a total realist to acknowledge serendipity, but in an even stranger turn of events he then said “Listen MK, I’ve decided that when our lease is up in October I’m moving out, I’m going to get my own place, still here in the neighborhood, but I need my own space, I want you to know so you can decide what to do with the apartment.” Holy shit. There it was. I was surprised it was happening now, so sudden. I looked down at my entrée, lost in thought, the beginning of the end to he and I. The breakup was inevitable, but I dreaded it nonetheless. My memory quickly scanned back to when we fell in love so many years ago, his eyes were so sparkly blue… I pushed the food around on my plate, knowing, but not excited that I was about to go through some big changes that I myself had asked for, “just breathe” I thought to myself. I still couldn’t look at him as I relplied “Yeah, I think I’m going to keep the place because I’ve got an interview for a new job.” And just like that before the first fall leaf had even turned golden, the season and outlook of my so-called life was onto something new, Angels and all.