The Waiting Place (or Day 1 of Nathan's visit)
Going near the plane arrival/departure monitor thingy made me feel like Buster Keaton in that routine where his hat falls off his head; every time he takes a step towards it, the hat mysteriously slides away. Every cotton-picking time I went over to the monitor I swear that the thing knew I was coming and made Nathan’s plane scoot farther back on the arrival schedule. (Johnny Depp does a great impression of this act in Benny and Joon).
And so the arrival time changed.
And it changed.
And it changed.
From 6:30pm to 7:45pm to 8:30pm to 8:50pm to 9:15pm to 9:50pm.
It was with great surprise that the last time I looked the screen actually said that the plane had landed. I had begun to feel like I was in some weird Twilight Zone episode where I was doomed to be stuck in a state of expectations, doomed to wander restless and alone…like the Incredible Hulk.
Nathan came walking off the plane and looked about as irritated as I had felt for the past 4 hours. I had to laugh in spite of it all. We commiserated about our mutual waiting, which reflecting on it now makes me think of Dr. Seuss’ Oh the places you’ll go, the part of the book where they get to the waiting place:
“The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to goor a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday nightor waiting, perhaps,
for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls,
or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”
I was positively happy as a clam to see Nathan! I always get so excited when people come and visit. Yeah for friends! Poor Nathan, I talked his ear off. After squeezing every drop of information out of him I caught him up on everything I could think of, or as Forrest Gump put it, I “jabbered on like a monkey in a tree,” as we left the city and headed for the Detroit Suburbs. On our way there Nathan was introduced to rule 1. in Michigan culture, it has to be big. I made sure to point out one of Detroit’s finer monuments, the oversized Goodyear Tire that is on the side of I-94. Yes, there have seldom been moments where I have been prouder of my state.
The night ended on a much better note than it started. Nathan and I settled in for some Lebanese food at Beirut Palace in Royal Oak, where we realized you can smoke a hooka (tobacco only, I swear) at your table over dinner. While I was game to try it, Nathan gave me a look that would kill a snozzwanger (they are delicate creatures). “Hooka and hummus?” that should be their line when they seat you. Anyway, the food was good, the conversation better. I told Nathan that he had to catch me up on all the goings-on of the farm that we used to work at together, but boys are horrible gossips.
After what felt like an already long day we headed North West to my parents house so that when we began our trek “Up North,” (as we Michiganders say it), the next day, we would be an hour farther along. I was ready for the escape.
“Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!” ~Oh the Places you’ll go, Dr. Seuss