Thursday, June 12, 2014

the road to pittsburgh

so...i'm on a new adventure.  wednesday after work, we had rasha's birthday dinner at earl's.  then i went to lisa's to shop for a necklace from her huuuge accessory tree.  then i came home and slept until 10pm.

i woke up and started packing and getting the house ready for me to leave it.  i also did a stealthy late night wash and talked to katie for a while on the phone.  mom and dad called to see if i was alright.  after all the crying the night before, i was relatively sedate on wednesday, only tearing up occasionally.  ...eventually i got all packed and ready and around 1am i left and drove to the border.

on the drive there i thought i should pray that i get there safely and everything goes well etc.  which i did, and i prayed for bashir and all the good things i want for him, and it hit me, the wall of grief.  he left me.  why did he leave me?  how could he leave me?  there can be lots of complicated reasons that the mind can think of but my heart is dumb with incomprehension.

only one lane was open when i got to the border. i wiped the tears from my face and tried to act normal.  the border guard asked me where i was going.  to the airport, i said. where are you flying to?, he asked.  to pittsburgh for my brother's wedding, i said.  what are you bringing, he asked.  i shrugged, my clothes and stuff, i said.  no presents?, not lots of cash? he asked.  i'm the present, i said.  ok, he smiled, have a good trip.  and i drove on.

i listened to cbc as i drove.  it was about how to find peace and quiet even in the most busy urban cities.  they interviewed different people from places like toronto, montreal, shanghai aaaand cairo egypt.  the trick in cairo, apparently is to go up to get away from the ever present noise of the streets.  rooftops.  the journalist telling the story spoke about the 'ragged cairo sky scape, littered with satellite dishes' and i was all 'yeah... that's exactly it!"  i remembered looking over the city's rooftops, so full of satellite dishes, and mosque tops, and unfinished brick buildings, with bashir and osama.

i almost got a ticket.  but the cop just lectured me about my fan belt and my headlights and doing u-turns (which i didn't do) and yadda yadda.  but he didn't give me a ticket and that's all that matters.  i got to the park and fly by the seatac airport in seattle around 3:30am.  i parked the car, paid the fee, and called for the shuttle.  when he came, he passed me but he backed up.  it was just me.  he was a nice hispanic man.  he took my suitcase and put it on the shelf for me. and when we got to the airport he got it down for me and told me where to go.

at the airport i went through the lines and got to my gate and sat for a while and read about the stages of grief, and about other theories of grief. felt miserable.  so they were saying it was a full flight so people who wanted to could check in their carry-ons for free.  so i did it.  which was great.  the guy said my carry on was a beast.  yes it is and it was nice not to have to find a spot to heave it up and shove it in.  i sat in 24d, an aisle seat in the back.  a husband and wife beside me.  i slept before we even took off.  i slept all the way to pheonix, sometimes i fear hanging into the aisle.  in pheonix i had to find my new gate fast.  it was gate a27.  and i found it eventually.  pheonix airport was a mass of slowly milling people blocking my way.  that's how i remember it.  on the flight to pittsburgh i sat in the front on the window seat 6a.  i slept most of the way.  i had lots of dreams.  i don't know what they were about but i woke up every time from them with a dull ache.  i also did crosswords and sudokus.  and then i was in pittsburgh, and got my bag, and waited for john outside and eventually he came along with his best man colorado bob.

we drove into pittsburgh, which is a very interesting looking city.  i didn't bring my camera, but i wished i had it. there are so many bridges and old brick buildings.  tonight i am staying in a hotel room with christian and ryan.  ryan is sleeping on the floor because he likes it.  tomorrow night i might be staying with the maid of honour...i don't know.  apparently no one does.

we dropped off my stuff.  i hadn't eaten the whole day.  it was 5 pittsburgh time and 2 bc time.  john walked in with a cupcake for me, that he mysteriously got from the 'cupcake lady' downstairs. i don't know, but i saw no cupcake lady downstairs.  however, i ate it and it was soo good.  peanut butter icing.  light floofy poofy icing.

the boyz put on their pittsburgh pirates hats, well actually john and colorado bob put theirs on and christian and ryan carried theirs.  and we walked to the stadium. pnc stadium.  and we waited for mary who was aparently walking across the bridge... and met some of her family who got there first.  they were warm and friendly.  her mom had to hug me.

when we were all together we climbed many stairs to the top of the stadium, section 301 and found our seats on row G.  i was sitting between mary and christian...oh yeah, i made the boyz wear their hats... and there was a big dark ominous cloud and john gave us all rain ponchos.  this should please fatima.

watching the game was fun.  we cheered and booed and and clapped and took selfies on my phone.  and and and i finally got something to eat. mary told me about the pimanti brothers, a pittsburgh institution.  well you know i like to eat the foods from the place i am visiting.  pimanti brothers make these huge man sandwiches.  i took christian and ryan with me.  i told the man at the counter that this was my first time to pittsburgh and he said without a doubt i should get the cheese steak.  so i did.  the cheesesteak had fries and coleslaw INSIDE it as well as the meat and the cheese.  it was yummers.  ryan got the roast beef and cheese.  christian said he couldn't eat a whole sandwich so he went somewhere else.  when we met up with all our foods, we found that christian got a bag of kettle corn, a water and a milkshake.  this cost him 17.00.  i was gob smacked.  christian's milkshake had a lid on it and he slithered his tongue under the lid and dipped it in the ice cream. it rained hard while we were gone getting our food, but it stopped.

during the game i finally pinned mary and john down on the details of the big day and i took notes.  then it rained really hard again and we all put on our ponchos, except ryan who dropped his down the seats.  and john and mary squeezed into one, mary's head in the arm hole because they are love birds like that.  i was putting it on and panicking because my purse was getting soaked and i was saying to christian "where are the arms? where are the arms?!" and christian said "they are on the side."  and we both laughed.  it rained hard and we were all soaked in minutes.  and then it stopped.  and then john and mary and the boyz went to get some perogies and that's when the downpour really erupted, so much so that the game was interrupted.  i just kept the poncho on my purse and was completely soaked all the way through.

eventually we left and walked back in the rain and slippery flip flops.  now it's me and the boyz.  we're watching enchanted.  tomorrow, i officiate at a wedding.  life is weird.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a weird and fun trip so far! Enjoy the rest of your stay there!

h