Friday, January 20, 2006

in a fog

I am up late last night, reading law school admission files. One applicant includes his book of poetry. I flip through it. Not bad actually.

Next thing I know I am asleep, jolted into wakefulness in time to see that the hour of my predawn flight out of Madison is rapidly approaching.

Wisps of fog outside the loft and inside my head. I get to the airport 50 minutes before the flight. Good enough. I am hustled through check-in. I stumble through security, remembering which shoe is the left, which is right.

At the gate, I put down a box that I am carrying with me. It’s my daughter’s birthday present. I’m traveling to New Haven for a week-end family celebration.

Too out of it to do anything worthwhile, I leaf through a book, checking out places and foods for spring travels.

And again my head falls back, my eyes close and I sleep.

A noise wakes me. Someone is walking up and down, calling out to passengers. Wait, what are you saying? Who are you? Oh! It’s past the departure time of my flight. My flight! Are you calling out to me? I am so sorry!

Please board, ma’am. And tell the agent you’re that last traveler we have been looking for.

...My box, I apologize to all but may I please go back? I left the box in the waiting area!

The little plane climbs through the wisps of fog, I try to read, I drift off again, the wisps outside somehow making their way into my head again.

In the Milwaukee airport, I stumble to the Starbucks and ask for the monster-size latte. I’m awake now, I swear! Fog’s gone. For the time being.