Sunday, December 21, 2008

missed opportunities

a modest blanket of snow fell friday, slowing the city and disrupting my travel plans but failing to ruin anything significant. i spent the evening at the airport waiting with friends who hoped their luck was better than my own. everyone made it out but me, and only the weather-induced pitfalls of my journey to the airport prevented me from making it out on my flight, which took off on time. a few hours later, the remaining flights were cancelled. having lost the purpose of my evening, i was buoyed by the modest hopes of friends that their journeys would end by midnight.

my own journey was far from fruitless. i discovered that wheeled luggage rolls well through small amounts of snow, but drags heavily in even an inch and a half. transportation officials can misguide you, shuttle buses don't always appear, and stubbornly pressing forward to join waiting crowds is not always a poor choice. i found that a modest suitcase can quickly reach fifty pounds in heft, and that sometimes it's better to just check a bag even if you might not get it back for several days. i found myself surprisingly happy to return to the unheated apartment and unroll my sleeping bag for one more night. on saturday, i learned that we'd actually done our landlord a disservice by not complaining; he could have fixed the heat on thursday morning and been free to enjoy his weekend. i don't mind having missed the chance to play in the still-falling snow, when it was nothing but beautiful. instead of standing in wonder at the flakes that melted on my sweater, i played my snow games in the slush, the puddles and drifts that lulled the city to somnolence with their momentary power. i slept soundly in the warmth of the sleeping bag, preparing for a new day with flights that would fear no weather.

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