This. Is. ATHE.

Good afternoon from Flight 409, seat 15C, rocketing towards Phoenix. I’m feeling ambitious so I’ll start recording today’s adventures until we land or I get bored.

7:45 AM – I wake up to a quiet, empty house. I tiptoe to the kitchen; Anna must have gone to work. Back to bed.

8:00 AM – Dozing, I hear footsteps nearby. Anna appears, up and making some coffee before jetting out the door for work. Josh has already left for the day. My flight is not until 2:15 PM, so she suggests I make myself at home, eat, watch TV, etc. We hug goodbye and I sit back down on the bed. You can probably guess what happened next.

10:00 AM – After a strange dream involving my car being broken into, subsequently breaking into a woman’s house as revenge, who finds me, yells at me, makes me work out in her basement, and then sends me to Chicago for a seminar (where, in my dream, I remember that Anna lives in Chicago). Just as dream me is about to text Anna to see if she can host me for the night, I wake up at 10 AM on the dot, in Anna’s apartment. What are the odds?

Remembering that Anna said I should head out around 11 to be safe, I shower, pack myself up, and am just leaving my bus snacks for Anna and Josh with a note when, surprisingly, here comes Josh. He needed to change clothes for a presentation and was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. Fortunately I was showered and dressed so he could do the same. I pour myself the coffee that Anna left me, still warm, and finish the note. Just as I’m heading for the door, Josh appears, ready to go, and offers to give me a lift around the corner to the South Evanston post office so I can mail the book to Portugal. No line at the post office, and I try out the Uber app that Anna suggested to get myself to the airport. Ten minutes later, a Mercury arrives, driven by Taiwo, a friendly and chatty Nigerian. We pass the time spent in traffic talking politics in America and Nigeria. Taiwo is passionate and in tune with world affairs, and he offer his predictions that Nigeria is headed for civil war and reveals his plans on how to fix the country. I am impressed. Some of my best conversation partners have been cab drivers; seriously, they should rule the world.

12:30 PM (approx.) – Taiwo drops me off at O’Hare Airport, Terminal 2. I check my bag through to Phoenix and suddenly feel naked, carrying only a backpack, an iPad, and toiletry bag. Even though it’s the Delta Airlines security point, I go through anyway, only to find that it’s a long, long walk to Terminal 3, where my flight will be leaving from Gate H14. I pass by US Airways security, which is super long.

1:00 PM (approx.) – After walking what seems to be a mile, I arrive at H14, all the way at the end of the H concourse. A bathroom stop, and then a $15 airport meal of a tomato caprese sandwich, couscous, and Starbucks iced caramel macchiato. Nearby gates show flights to Tampa and New York-La Guardia. I have an hour or so until boarding, so I set up and begin writing down yesterday’s events.

2:15 PM – Boarding and takeoff. I am in 15C, aisle seat, left side. My seatmates are two older gentlemen, one who is snoozing as I type and another who is reading the in-flight magazine. Weird to write up what a stranger next to me is doing. I better wrap this up so he doesn’t look over and catch a glimpse of me being weird. It’s 3:39 PM CST, so we’ve got two or three hours to go, so time to get out a book.


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