In the days that preceded my trip to Boston, I was imagining the worst: that I would never see my family again. I would die in a fiery car crash. I would die in a fiery plane crash. I would be mugged by someone wielding a fire extinguisher!…I told you: I was imagining the worst.
I was nauseous from fright. Tuesday night as we were preparing the kids for bed, Sparring Partner asked if I wanted to rock Aitch, “because it’ll be your last time,” and I nearly came unfucking-glued. Obviously he meant my last time before I left for vacation, but it didn’t help. As I rocked Aitch, I buried my nose in her hair inhaling her for what I feared really was going to be the last time. I told myself repeatedly that I was being ridiculous, but that didn’t stop me from tearing up as I put her down in the crib.
Before crawling into bed myself, I dug out the prescription bottle that had over the course of the past two years shifted to the back of my nightstand. I popped one of the two remaining expired valiums and fell into a dreamless sleep.
Wednesday morning I had actually hoped to have left the house for the drive to the airport before either of the kids would wake, but they both were up early. I had to say the good-byes yet again and it wouldn’t have taken much for me to have changed my mind even at that point and just stayed home.
It wasn’t until I landed in Chicago for my layover to Boston that I finally relaxed a smidgeon, but I was still very, very heartsick.
My cousin (CousinP) who has always seemed a bit aloof to me in the past really went out of his way to make my arrival in Boston easier. Originally he had just assured me that The T from the airport to my hotel would be a breeze, but at the last minute offered to pick me up from the airport. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that managing the public transportation of the largest city I have ever been to wouldn’t have to be the first thing I dealt with once off the plane.
During the time I waited for the carousal to deliver my one checked bag, a funny thing happened. Even funnier is that I didn’t KNOW it was happening. It wasn’t until two days later, Friday, that upon meeting Millie for the first time that she told me that she was fairly positive that we had arrived in Boston on the same flight. We were waiting for our luggage at the same time. Because she wasn’t sure it was me, she tried to speak loud enough to her husband for me to overhear, using the buzzwords “Pamplemousse!” and “L.E!” (her daughter’s name). While she managed to garner quizzical glances from her husband, I was either still suffereing from plugged ears or nerves as I confessed that she, her husband and her daughter totally didn’t register on my radar. I couldn’t believe I had missed such a serendipitous opportunity!
Once CousinP picked me up from the airport, he offered to let me check into my hotel while he returned his car back to his home and then return on the T to take me out for supper, which I gratefully took him up on. Within an hour, we were walking on the sidewalk opposite of the TD Garden to a pub only a couple of blocks away to eat at The Fours. I nearly gave him heart failure when I picked up the tab, which I did while he had excused himself to use the restroom.
The three Absolute Citron and lemonades I threw back made it much easier for me to fall asleep that first night alone in Boston. The adventure was officially on!