Monday, August 17, 2009

Airport Confessional -- Hartsfield - Jackson International Atlanta International Airport

Approaching Hotlanta.

I have decided that my favourite time to take off is just before dawn. The sun is still down and the street lights are still on and when you’re taking off, it’s easy to imagine that there is no ground and all of those little twinkling amber lights below aren’t street lights, but are actually stars. Then, when the sun comes out, it’s illuminating the ground, but hasn’t burned off the fog so there are white rivers of mist crawling over the landscape like fingers. It’s especially neat when the lights are still on in those fog-shrouded areas. And, if you’re me, when the lights blink and sputter, you think of the Stephen King story and the excellent Frank Darabont movie and shudder.

I’m in Atlanta now. It’s really gloomy here, overcast and a little foggy. It’s only 8 in the morning so the sun hasn’t had time to burn off the mist. I’d take a photo, but all of the seats by the windows are occupied by exhausted travelers who are thinking the same thing I am, “Why the hell am I awake?”

I was going to grab a quick nap on the Cleveland-Atlanta flight, but I was hungry and wanted some water to go with my breakfast bar so I couldn’t. I got about four or five hours of sleep last night, but going to bed at 7 or 8 at night to get up at 2 in the morning has really screwed up my internal clock. A friend was up at three in the morning my time, which was midnight hers, and I totally was like, “Oh em gee, dude, what are you doing awake?!” And then I was like, “Oh, wait...”

They oversold the Daytona Beach flights and are desperately seeking someone to give up their seat for another passenger. $400 Delta Dollars. What, exactly, does $400 Delta Dollars buy, anyway? Is that enough for a round trip domestic ticket? Or are the $400 Delta Dollars more like the points for frequent flyers where you have to spend almost a kabagillion dollars in order to accrue a half of a mile of travel? I’ll have to look that up when I get home, if I’m that curious. Or ask the attendant if they need someone to give up their seat to Sarasota...which I honestly can’t imagine. It’s Sarasota, after all.

When I left Cleveland, I took a moment to revel in the non-humid 70s and the light, cool breeze that was flitting through the runway. The plane was a small commuter so they didn’t hook up the gangway, they just had us go out to the tarmac. I didn’t breathe deeply. It’s still the airport in Cleveland after all, but I did revel in it. It was very nice. I’m going to miss not having humidity, especially when my hair decides to do its best Roseanne Roseannadanna impression.


Marvin the Martian said...

Hey, hi, wanted to say I have not forgotten you, I've been busy a lot lately. I will read backwards through your post and, as always, you rock.

Lori said...

Marvin: Aww...thank you! I hope they provided some

NoelCT said...

I've never had a dawn takeoff with pale mist. Sounds amazing.

The most interesting one of my life was a 12 hour flight to Japan (high school field trip - I took Japanese). The passengers were pretty sparse, allowing everybody a chance to take an entire row to lay down. Some excitement hit about half-way through where we had three solid hours of serious turbulence. Not enough to throw people into the ceiling, but even the attendants were firmly strapped in and the wing looked like it was waving us all goodbye. Hardest part was dealing with the white-knuckled teacher in the seat next to me.

View-wise, it was pretty disappointing. We took off around 10p and never caught up to daylight. It was nice seeing all the cities beneath, but once we hit ocean, it was just a long stretch of black that left everyone ignoring the windows.

Then the pilot chimed in, indicating a distant dot of light. As we got closer, that speck grew into the glowing island nation. It was awesome.

Michael said...

Beautiful words, great imagery!

Lori said...


Thank you!