I return!

It was a near thing for awhile there. I was in LAX–an airport the size of a city, might I add–having arrived two hours early. I strolled up to curbside check-in, rolling my pair of suitcases, confident in my ability to enjoy a leisurely if overpriced lunch.

The guy took one look at my ticket and said “Ooh. You gotta go inside.”

I went inside, waited through the line to the US Airways counter, and was informed by a gum-snapping employee that my flight to Phoenix was two hours late, which would cause me to miss my connection to Raleigh. However, they’d send me over to Delta, who would put me on a flight to Salt Lake City, where I could catch a connection home.

The Delta terminal is across LAX, requiring a shuttle jaunt.

Okay, fine. These things happen. Rolling my suitcases, I go out, lug the suitcases onto the shuttle (OOF!) run the suitcase over my foot (OW!) take the long ride to Delta, get out, wait in line again, get to the ticket counter.

“Where’s your ticket?” she asks, examining the itinerary that the US Airways person handed me.

“Err…this is all they gave me.”

“We can’t do anything with this. The tickets are still under US Airways. It’s not in our system.”

“But they said…” I said hopelessly, already knowing that I wasn’t getting on the plane.

“Go back to US Airways and tell them you need tickets.”

“But the flight’s in an hour! I can’t make it by then!”

“No, you won’t,” she said, with the air of a woman whose problem this is not.

Defeated, I trudged back to the shuttle, lugged the suitcases back on it, dropped the pointy bit on my foot this time, cursed, took the long ride to US Airways, and now, having made a full circuit of the wonderful city of LAX, slogged back through the same line to the same woman, who didn’t remember me.

At this point, I will confess to you, dear reader, that had she been male, I would have tried my grandmother’s patented remedy for such troubles, which was to burst into tears. However, this doesn’t usually work on women, so I bit down my hysteria and explained that Delta had said I wasn’t their problem.

She insisted that I was. I insisted that I was not, and furthermore, that I would not be trekking back across LAX unless she swore to me on the shin bones of her ancestors that I would not be returning, a broken woman, to this same counter, and furthermore pointed out that the flight to Salt Lake City was leaving without me in twenty minutes no matter whose problem I was.

“Fine,” she sighed, much put upon, snapping her gum with great annoyance. “Here. You’re on a flight to Charlotte.”

“Charlotte is wonderful,” I said. (Charlotte is a couple of hours drive from Raleigh–if worse cameto worse, Carlota could come GET me. Of course, I would owe her a kidney, but who’s counting?)

“It leaves in twenty minutes. I’d run.”

I ran. I made the flight just as they called the last zone to board, scrambled onto the plane, and rode a turbulent four hours trying to eke sustenance from an overpriced airplane meal, until at last we arrived in Charlotte.

I collected Ben, went home, and slept like the dead, with Ben on the bed for most of the night, in various states of snuggle.

It’s good to be home. I enjoyed Hollywood, but it’s nice to come home to your own clutter and your own stuff. Ben’s first act upon arrival was to knock my toiletries over. I picked up the hairspray, the little plastic cap of which he’d knocked off, went to put it back on, pushed it down, and with my usual failure to grasp cause and effect quite soon enough, blasted myself full in the eyes.

I do not approve of animal testing of cosmetics, and now I remember why.

On the bright side, my eyelashes will retain their sweep in anything short of a hurricane.

And now, I begin running prints for HeroesCon. Pray for me.

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