Stranded at the Drive-In

Well, I’m still in Denver.

Leaving Minneapolis last night was bittersweet – but I know I’ll be back come Janurary. I started my journey to Tulsa in high hopes. All my ducks were in a row. I landed in Denver (which now I refer to as Den-verr, through gritted teeth. It’s not your fault Denver that I hate you right now, but you can take it, right?) and made my way to my next gate. Boarding was delayed a couple of minutes, but I was soon in the cabin and ready for take off. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away.

Tornados, though… that’s another story.

We took off towards Tulsa, our pilot assuring us that we were safe in spite of the storms in Oklahoma. We had a smooth flight towards Tulsa for the most part. At one point we were flying over the clouds, cutting off all city light, and had a full sky of stars all around us. It was beautiful. I thought later that it might be the pretty thing I saw, and knowing that was comforting. Thankfully, it wasn’t. I’m still alive.

At first, I felt like Zach Braff in Garden state.

When we got into the turbulence, I stayed calm. When lightening surrounded our plane, I was worried. When we flew around in it for an extra hour waiting for it to clear up so we could land, I panicked. Luckily I had an empty seat next to me, so my anxiety was contained as I put my coat over my head and tried to breathe.

I thought “well shit. This is how it ends for me, huh? I never get to see Max again. Ain’t that some shit. I was going to go to Scotland. I had so much left that I wanted to do. Well at least I got to look at the stars one last time.”

The pilot had turned on Air Traffic Control communications so we could be informed. We all listened in silence. We were being held over Ponca City to see if the storm would move on. It didn’t. It was moving too slow. Then it started heading for us. Two-seven-seven-Tango requested redirect to Wichita. We were granted permission and got the hell out of there. But when we got to Wichita, the airport wouldn’t take us, so we were sent all the way back to Denver.

When we broke through the clouds and saw the stars again, I felt safe and my panic subsided. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get home, but I was thankful I wasn’t in that damn storm anymore.

But I had some other problems. My phone was dead and I had no way of charging it. Airport shops were all closed, so I couldn’t buy one. United offered us vouchers (fuck you and your vouchers, United) for the ‘cheapest hotel stay’ and I decided to get to a hotel then figure out the plan from there. I hopped in an expensive cab (16 bucks for five miles? ) and made my way to the La Quinta where the attendant gave me a rate of 50 bucks and some change, and I went to my hotel room to figure it all out.

I finally got through to Max, who was supposed to pick me up – and he helped me get over my panic and made me smile again. That’s why I love him, guys.

I headed to the airport in the morning – and they have me confirmed for a 5:33 pm flight to Tulsa. I had to pay to check my bag, again. I’m on standby for this 10:33 am flight though – and I hope that works out. I just want to be home.

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