Saturday, I made my reluctant, yet still triumphant, return to Los Angeles. I kept note of everything that happened along the way, just for fun. Here's how it plays out, in real time. Prologue
Perhaps the reluctance to fully pack comes from the fact that I am not yet ready to say goodbye. Packing everything completely signals that it's time to go, and for all there is to look forward to, I know how much I'll miss those small everyday things I'd gotten spoiled with on a daily basis over the summer. Time bests me, and with a heavy heart, I accept that the memories remain, and more will be made, all in good time.
Chapter 11:35am, Mountain Standard TIme
The metal detector beeps as I walk through security at the airport. A high-strung TSA employee orders me to move back and then try again. I oblige, and this time I get through without the glaring beep beep beep. I move forward to await my bag, computer, and lunch. A man stares intently at his computer screen, scrunching his face up in what could be constipation, except it occurs to me that he is concentrating deeply on the orange, blue, white, and yellow images before him. After a solid minute, he lifts up my Whole Foods bag, gives me a suspicious look, and asks if this is mine. I reply in the affirmative, and he proceeds to open it up and remove the children's meal I had purchased for half an hour before. Apple juice, 6.7 ounces. Apple sauce, unknown amount, but certainly more than 3 ounces. Both are contraband, and because I opt not to have to wait another twenty minutes to repeat the process, they are confiscated.
Chapter 1:30pm, Mountain Standard Time
I board the plane to Phoenix. Despite being in the second herd of passengers, the plane is quite full. I head toward the back in the hopes of finding an empty row with an available aisle or window seats. I spy an empty row, but upon my arrival I discover a child seat in place next to the window. I wait, and a mother approaches with her infant daughter. She smiles and says I'm welcome to sit next to them. The next hour or so is spent chatting amicably and playing with her thirteen-month-old. This surprises me, but very pleasantly so.
Chapter 2:45pm, Pacific Standard Time
After running into a friend I made last semester, I board the plane to Burbank. This time, I secure a window seat in the second to last row of the plane. A haggard old man approaches and decides to take the seat between me and the 6'5" hulk on the end. This old man is probably pushing 90, and his slightly curved frame makes him appear shorter than he probably is. His hair is white and cut extremely short. He sits down and promptly places his elbows on the arm rests, never to move them for the entire hour and a half flight. He removes from his shirt pocket a book. Judging by its size, I peg it as one of those travel books that shows the highlights of different places. Judging by its red and busy cover, I wonder if it is erotica. I look over his shoulder and see words that talk about Mass and Jesus. So much for first impressions.
Chapter 4:23pm, Pacific Standard Time
My landlord picks me up and drives me back to my new home. My heart races for the next forty minutes as we tear through the streets at 50 and 60 miles per hour, despite the heavy traffic. Relief washes over me as we finally arrive. I reflect on how I've never had motion sickness, but that ride certainly could have induced it.
Chapter 5:30pm, Pacific Standard Time
I begin to unpack, happy at least that the traveling is over. I see light glint from the floor. I do not expect this, and then I see the light scurry underneath my bed. I spy more as I look around the carpet. Crickets, it seems. Unbeknownst to me, crickets are pretty common in Los Angeles. Robert informs me that they're a sign of good luck. This helps, but I still prefer to see them outside.
Fish tacos were the one thing I missed about LA. I have no food in the house, so I go out and get fish tacos. I call my friend and we decide to go hang out, eat, and then go to a pub for beer and live music. We meet odd new people, including one self-proclaimed Casanova who, for every sentence you spoke, would want to bump fists. Then he asked my friend on a date and was devastated when she said "NO, BITCH!"*
*She was quite a bit more subtle than I just made her out to be.