I believe in flat tires. Yes, flat tires, and everything else in the world that doesn’t go as planned.
Mother Nature must have been on crack in early 2008 because the weather was, just as a crack head, all over the place and a white substance commonly referred to as snow, was everywhere. Mother Nature…..that whore! It was mid March and there weren’t half green strands of grass yearning to bathe in warm sunlight or the slightest hint of infant rosebuds dispersing their sugary aroma, informing hibernators to live again. Negative. Instead, a thick, white, coat of unwanted snow blanketed the earth or at least from Louisville, Kentucky to Cincinnati, Ohio. Regardless of the weather, I was determined to journey out in this random spring blizzard with my sister Cicily and our friend, De’Juan.
As we headed towards our first locale, the Cincinnati Airport, Mother Earth was hushed probably from getting stoned off all of the snow. We were in a freaking snow globe and made it twenty-five miles when we heard a loud cracking sound followed by a thump, clicking noises, and words that rhymed with: “Oh sit!” “What the duck?” “Tam!” and, “Motherpucker!” Naturally, I checked all four tires. I looked to them with relief that soon vanished, realizing that something else was wrong. De’Juan glanced under the hood for perhaps the first time in his life. We started the car every five minutes repeating the pattern of its’ clicking noises and our cursing. Mother Nature, that bitch, was snowing on my parade. Ashamed to call home like a bunch of babies who needed to be rescued by mommy and daddy, we called the highway police who tracked us down in forty five minutes only to tell us that our axle was broken before driving off. After random shouts of “I should’ve stayed my ass at home like mama said!” and, “We’re gonna die!”, we found a tow-truck company willing to come save three semi-independent idiots on the snow covered freeway at 3 am. Only time would tell if we would make it to the airport by four.
The truck arrived with a gigantic hero inside, a very expensive hero, plumber crack complimentary nonetheless. Smushed, just like my New York fantasy; we sat three to a seat like kindergarteners. I prayed that we would have time to make it through the lengthy lines and security and bag check and strip search and any other obstacle stopping us from getting to the Big Apple. As we approached the promise land in a colossal tow truck, there it was in its purest form, Mother Nature’s dope, the snow. It lay smoothly across the airport’s parking lot and runway without a hint of existence. After Beowulf drove off with $150 of our shopping money, our usual outbursts were at their peak. Looking towards the sky in complete disbelief of the series of unfortunate events that were endured just over night, I let out a huge, “WHY?” We became psychotic, laughing at the fact that there was nothing we could do. I determined the gods and the odds were against me. No matter what I did to get closer to the city, I knew that I would never, freaking ever acquire a chance to have my Big Apple and eat it too.
The deserted building housed a small number of pissed people. The faces I saw where that of ours, which read: helplessness, frustration, and what-the-hell-are-you-looking-at? Cancelations and delays increased by the hour every hour. There was nothing left to do but sleep: sleep and dream of what seemed to be the impossible.
The sun rose and we slept. Birds flew south during my spring break and we slept. Mother Nature OD’ed and we slept stretched out in-between our luggage and coats with cell phones plugged into the wall. Finally waking up, we surprisingly received uplifting news. An earlier flight gave the three most depressed teens in the airport a reason to smile cheek to cheek. Passing through the security/ time/ space/ continuum/ machine and getting fumigated and hosed down (the usual routine), was miraculously a piece of cake. However, as assumed, there was yet another problem: over night the snow on the runway froze and it would take a while for the salt to work its’ magic. The sleep-deprived zombies and I danced impatiently in our chairs, slouching back, leaning forward: Martha Graham would be proud. Everyone looked like hell and for the first time in my superficial, metro- sexual- life, I could care less. No one cared. I was too afraid I would die, that we would all die asses in seat at the holding place.
“Ding!” and it was time for us to board, only to wait thirty more minutes before we could takeoff. A man gestured a gun to his head which triggered laughter. Later he offered us “Airline Wine” that we turned down graciously in fear of a major setback: getting locked up. An hour before landing, the pilot announced that it was too windy to land in New York City. I then experienced my first and worst turbulence, plummeting down to Pennsylvania. Everybody waited another thirty or so for the charter: we did it well; it was ingrained in our asses. On the two hour bus ride, I looked up a few times to see where we were. The last time I looked up, I never looked down again. Surrounded by sky scrapers and lights, we entered my earthly paradise with all of its’ “big-city-magnificentness”, and its’ one-of- a- kind 7:30 pm traffic. I was alive again. The view of this wonderland, which I longed so desperately to witness, seemed even more spectacular after having gone through all of my annoying problems.
Yes, from this experience alone, I am compelled to believe in those flat tire moments: the inconvenient snow storms and struggles, the totally unnecessary obstacle courses full of fire hoops that seem impossible to leap through, the situations that make me want to scream, “WHY ME?”, and call Mother Nature every name in the book. I will inhale it all, taking in every ounce of my series of unfortunate events, and exhale with the sweetest satisfaction of relief, finally seeing how minute my troubles were all along. I believe in appreciating the strenuous journey.
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