It was an early flight, but when you’re young, you schedule those because you know it’ll be easy to get up.
I was hungover. More hungover than I’d ever been. I’d managed to get myself lost coming home from a big end of semester party. Instead of accepting a ride home, I’d decided to walk. The problem with this plan was that I didn’t know the territory. I wandered from midnight until 2:00 a.m., finally running across an apartment building I recognized.
Mel waking up at 2:00 a.m. Even though I was drunk, I could tell wasn’t his ideal activity. Being the kind friend he was, however, he walked me home.
I was asleep by 3:00. My flight was at 8:00. Amazingly, my alarm woke me at 6:30. But young people can wake up early. Hangover or not.
Fortunately, I’d had the foresight to pack the day before. I called a cab and staggered out into the drifting snow as it arrived. I put my suitcase and my guitar in the trunk. My guitar. My baby.
I checked the suitcase, but I’d already known I would gamble with my Martin. My heart beat faster, which meant my head throbbed harder, as we walked out on the tarmac. I climbed the stairs into the toasty cabin. The flight attendant greeted me and gestured me along. No mention of the guitar.
Arriving at my seat, at this point my foggy mind was clear enough to tell me I had a problem. The overhead bins on this tiny commuter flight to O’Hare were minuscule, and no way it would fit under the seat.
A flight attendant came to me side. “I can store that for you up front,” she said.
The relief I felt actually trumped the hangover momentarily.
We took off for Chicago, a mere 35 minutes away. All I’d have to do was get my guitar aboard the non-stop to Honolulu, and my day would be perfect. I’m Korean. Every gamble, you think your chances of winning are good.
I looked out the window at the curtain of white coming down. I could see my bed back home. I was almost there. By this evening I’d sleep like the dead.
The Captain came over the speaker. “Folks, I’m sorry to tell you that O’Hare has been closed because of the weather. We’re going to have to return to Madison.”
I could feel the plane bank and turn. Still too buzzed to really be concerned about this information, I told myself, “No biggy.” I’d just hit the sack a little later.
A few minutes passed. The Captain came on again. “Sorry, friends, but they’ve closed down Madison. The nearest possible destination is Cleveland. We’re going to head there and hope they don’t close down too.”
I felt the plane bank and head east. If we landed in Cleveland, I’d be even farther from Honolulu than I’d been when I was in Madison. My head pounded. When would I see my bed now?
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Aloha #WriterFriday. I hope you are well wherever you may be. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )