A friend is flying from Newark to Cleveland this afternoon. He travels about as well as Southwest champagne, which is to say not well at all.
Like many American travelers he's convinced that if you worry hard enough in advance the plane won't crash.
I'm not much help when I reassure him that all the worry in the world will NOT keep a plane aloft. I know. I flew in the Navy for 4 years. Believe me, it takes talent to crash a plane (or a dedicated religious fanatic).
He'll be fine, of course, because even religious fanatics have no desire to enter Allah's Kingdom via Cleveland.
I, on the other hand, might not fare as well on Thursday when I wing my way from Newark (EWR) to Ft. Myers (RSW) for 72 hours of non-stop thrills and spills with mom and dad.
It would be cruel of me to ask God to send along a religious fanatic on the same flight. After all, none of the other people are going to visit my mom and dad. I'm sure all their moms and dads are just swell.
Actually, mom and dad are okay. I didn't know them until I was well into my 30's (I mean really know them -- long story but my birth mom was an alkie bitch with issues and I wasn't supposed to have contact with my dad and his new family... ever).
But they are getting quite old and quite set in their ways. I have a pretty good idea of how it will go. They'll be excited to see me for about 10 minutes. Then we'll get the early bird special someplace and head back to the house in order to get that all important "afternoon nap." This will be followed by dad wandering down to the clubhouse to hang out with his cronies and play pool while mom disappears into the computer room.
I'll be the unspoken of thing in the living room.
Friday morning I'll steal the family van and sneak off to a 12-Step meeting. The rest of the day will be an eerie recreation of the previous day.
On Saturday it will be more of the same except I will sneak off at the God awful hour of 7:00 p.m. to go to a LGBT 12-Step meeting at the MCC in Ft. Myers. I'll be living large that night.
On Sunday, God willing, I'll be on a plane by noon heading back north.
I love them. I know they love me. Age is taking it's toll on everybody I love, including me.
It's time to make every moment count. At last.
Go hug somebody you love. You both deserve it. It'll take you places. And you won't even need a plane to get there.
p.s. I haven't had the nerve to tell the folks what happened to me. I guess they're gonna crap themselves when I come walking off that plane.