Getting Home To The Husband From Arizona
I just got back from Tempe. I went for a work conference, all expenses paid. Technically, all expenses paid/reimbursed, but close enough. I was looking forward to coming home to my husband. He’s usually the one leaving for his music, and I’m usually the one waiting.
This is the first out of town trip I’ve taken without him since we got engaged. I missed him and couldn’t wait for the wine, candles, etc. promised me upon my return home. But all hell broke loose at work. On a really terrible night, we’ll have 4 or 5 organ cases going at once. We get lots of people transplants, but it a heavy workload for whoever works that night.
This night, there was only one organ person on plus our supervisor. She asked if anyone could come in. My flight didn’t get in until midnight, but I still said I’d come in. I guess I’m more committed to my job than I thought. The super-understanding, raincheck-cashing, chauffeur-impersonating husband drove me straight to work from the airport.
Because it was so late at night, there was no traffic. I was glad to spend at least a little bit of time with him. I was also glad for the air conditioning in the car. I may love Tempe for the Southwest cuisine and the amazing integrated diversity, but I hate their lack of air conditioning. Everywhere is air conditioned, but it never gets cool enough. My hotel room was set on 69 degrees.
If my house was set to that low temperature, I’d be bundled up in sweats (as if I own real sweats!) and a blanket. But in Tempe, that was barely enough. So I will focus on how Latinos, black, whites, and Asians of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds fill up the same spaces. Being a born and raised Chicagoan, integration stands out to me. I need to make sure I change that so I don’t pass the expectation of segregation on to my children.
Back to the air conditioning in the car. It felt great! The air conditioning on the plane was a joke. It was so warm in Chicago last night, that it didn’t get any cooler as we arrived over Midwestern airspace. Something about the air on the plane was messing with me.
I began experiencing a series of symptoms that possibly made me think I might die if I didn’t lie down immediately. I felt nauseous. I felt lightheaded. My respiration rate slowed way down and I had to force myself to breathe in and out. At the same time, my heart rate went way up, so I felt on edge. The light was low, but I still had to close my eyes to shut out the light. The only thing not wrong with me was I didn’t have a headache. I felt similarly on the plane on the way to Tempe, but I chalked it up to not having drunk enough water.
I don’t know what happened on the plane, but I’m not interested in re-living it. Warm climates are apparently not for me, at least if I ever want to arrive or leave by plane. Making matters even more disconcerting was the woman next to me on the plane.
I don’t know many of you talk to people on planes, but I’m not one of those people. There were two boys in front of me who were travelling alone. They were maybe 9 and 10. I think the woman thought I was also a kid travelling alone. She kept asking me all these questions, and finally she asked my age. When I responded “27,” she asked me four more times, repeating, “no, I’m asking you your age.”
When I finally got her to understand that I was truly saying I was 27, she told me she thought I was 13. I know I look young for my age, and even younger when I have all my hair off my face, but really?! 13?!? I swear that only black women over 45 ever come at me with that “you look like a baby” shit. If I were a worse person than I am, I would inform them that they’re husband/boyfriends/sons/brothers would all recognize I was a grown ass woman and just because I haven’t aged my skin with too much drug, alcohol, cigarette, or sun exposure doesn’t make me a child.
But I’m a better person than that. So I just smiled and pretended to be asleep while thinking about how excited I was to see the husband.