Ontario, CA to Washington D.C.

An unforgettable journey

Photo by Kevin Bosc on Unsplash

One January while I was living in Southern California, I had the opportunity to take a break in Virginia with my best friend’s Mom and visit a facility linked with the one for which I worked.

It was a sunny morning with clouds as I was dropped at Ontario airport. By the time we boarded the plane, the sun had vanished, and a grey fog descended around the plane only. I promise you it was nowhere else. I know for a fact the I10 was clear and traffic flowing well.

After an hour the captain announced that we were fog bound until clearance was given. No one could disembark as it might be very soon.

I have learned that in flying language, very soon is a synonym for ten minutes to ten days. It’s a platitude designed to cause riots. I got my book out and began to read.

On finishing my book, three hours had passed. I could hear murmurs of grumbling as well as requests for drinks. I realized drinks were not on offer. I took out my water bottle and took a sip.

The murmurs of grumbling turned to rallying for revolution. It was unsettling. I realized five hours had passed and my second book was nearly finished. What would I read on the flight, if there was one?

After eight hours we were told we had half an hour to go into the terminal to make phone calls and use the facilities. I decided to wait to make my call as the phones were in use. All ten of them. Some men had their brick size ‘cell phones’ in use.

We were hearded back onto the plane. It was getting dusk and the last of the sunset was strikingly beautiful. Fog? Where was it?

We took off at last and flew into daylight for a few hours. I saw crop circles, rivers, craters, lakes, and mountains, before night covered the whole USA.

Then I noticed the White House, all lit up like a target for a malicious flier. I looked forward to the descent. But there was none. We banked, and I watched the White House as we circled it.

We circled and circled that illuminated target and I worried that the captain had criminal intentions. I beckoned a flight attendant and asked what was going on. She leaned in close and whispered that we were in a line to land but would be soon due to a lack of fuel. I was asked not to mention this.

My confidence was not restored. We had circled seventeen times already. How many minutes before we dropped out of the sky?

However, we did land, and I was met by my friend who had left home before getting the message I had asked to be passed on.

So much for flights and phones.


I Sat Next to My Ex

You could not make it up

Photo by Gavin Allanwood on Unsplash

A few months back, I got a WhatsApp message from my ex-husband. It simply said Do you want to watch Paul’s funeral?

This was not only a surprise, but a dilemma. Which Paul could he mean? I was considering this when another came. Give your details to Kevin and he will send you a link.

This narrowed it down. I responded by giving my condolences and saying I would prefer not to watch the funeral. I was then informed he was still in Ireland. Well, the Paul he meant had not been living on the Moon. I gave my condolences once more.

Then I contacted my daughter to remind her to give her condolences. They were, after all, her blood relatives if not mine.

A couple of weeks later I got a WhatsApp from my ex asking me to have coffee. I considered this. I then agreed. I guessed he would tell me that Paul died of alcoholism.

At the coffee house my ex offered to pay for my drink. Well, he did drag me out to drink coffee. Of course he should pay. That he would not collect loyalty points for me was typical of him.

He started to talk only after he pulled out an old envelope and started to write what he was saying. I asked what he was doing. He wrote that down. He told me he wanted to write what we said. I should have had prescience. Nothing with him is simple since ten or so years ago.

Now, the deceased brother, named Paul for Medium, was a difficult man. He drank to much and behaved very badly at the funeral of another relative. Thus, his siblings decided to have reunions without him.

At the funeral this year, of Paul, the sister-in-law was very cold. My ex said it was because Paul had been left out of the reunions. Like they didn’t see that coming? Really?

It turns out Paul died of a lung disease. So, it’s genetic. This caused my ex to be flustered. Well your Mam and uncle died of it. You don’t see a connection?

My ex was scribbling away.

I was glad to get home. A few days later, another WhatsApp came. Would I like to hear David Sedaris in July. Heck, yes. That would be great. Thank you.

My ex went on to say he had made his peace with his brother, and now with me. My ex thought he had made peace with me? For real? He had often thanked me for bringing up our daughter alone, but never apologized for his bad behavior, his bullying, his carelessness with the safety of my daughter, or anything else.

I said this aloud. My ex then told me I had obviously left the coffee shop with a different feeling that he had. Wait, feeling?

I was then uninvited from the David Sedaris evening and someone else would go with him. I promptly bought a ticket for the show.

On the evening, I somehow turned up slightly late. I then just took the first available empty seat. The man next to me needed a loop for a hearing aid. He didn’t seem to settle. I enjoyed the show. David Sedaris can me laugh anytime. After quite a while, the man next to me got up, and instead of leaving by passing only me, he chose to disturb the whole row. I glanced up as he went along the people. He looked back and I saw it was my ex.

What do you know? My ex carries an offence to the extent of disturbing 15 or so people rather than sit out the show. His loss. I enjoyed it and David Sedaris could make a great tale from this.

The irony. A theatre of 800 people and I sat next to my ex.