pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: Always the rush

13 May 2013

Always the rush

Baggage tag
6 May 2013

So, last Monday morning, I got up at 4 am to get on a plane.

You know this one, chapter and verse.

By the time I staggered into BWI at 4:30 pm, US Airways had lost my luggage (because they only had 1/2 an hour plus 1/2 an hour's mechanical delay to move it from Gate A22 to Gate A29. Seriously.) and I was stuck in the back of a mouthy driver's cab heading toward the Inner Harbor.

("But where is my bag?" I asked the woman--who was very nice--at baggage claim. "Er, they aren't telling me," she replied looking in consternation at her screen. "When," I asked, trying to be patient, "will I get it back?" "It might come in tonight," she told me, and quickly changing the subject in response to my eyebrows hitting my hairline, she asked, "Can you tell me something readily identifiable in your luggage?" I gave her a long look, and answered, "My cane. It's a very pretty paisley." At which she seemed alarmed. Taking pity, I admitted to her that I only need it sometimes, mostly for balance.)

I got to the hotel, a chain at which I stay quite frequently because it's fun and whimsical. The son and I stayed  in one in Chicago and I've stayed at the one in D.C. several times. The hotel in Baltimore had the distinction of being in a Beaux Arts building--how fun is that?--so I figured it would be a good stay and all would go well.

I'm such an optimist.

What was wrong--maybe not wrong, but highly unexpected--was the person standing next to the reception desk when I walked up to check in. I don't actually know this person, I just know who this person is. And I know that where this one is, there are many more of the same ilk, all I'm sure fine and upstanding people, but not necessarily people I was expecting to share a hotel with.

(Why I wasn't expecting it ...who knows? It's happened before. We've shared planes, even, this group and I. Statistically inescapable, actually. Still, I have this idea that I glide silently and invisibly through the universe. Yes, I am an idiot, I know, thank you. But it's an illusion I continue to cherish, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.)

So, I did what I do best and pretended that all was well and that I was oblivious. Then I explained my sad lost luggage tale to the kind woman who was checking me in. Like the woman at baggage claim, she offered me a toothbrush.

(If I check luggage, I ALWAYS pack a change of clothing in my carry on. And a toothbrush.)

She promised to call when my luggage arrived, whatever time, as I specified.

Another hurdle.

Off I went to my room, somewhat amused by the whole People in the Hotel thing even while I kind of wasn't. So far, this trip had gotten off to a strange start, and it was only the first day.

I met some friends for drinks, and finally got back to my room. About 1 am, as I was reading in bed, the phone rang. My bag had arrived; it was delivered to me a few moments later by a nice man.

I wondered somewhat irritably what adventures my bag had had without me. When I twisted the luggage tag to read where it had been, I couldn't help but smile.

"So quintessentially you," D. had texted when I told her of my check-in encounter.


Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4. 

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