The TSA guy does a double take when I show my boarding pass. “We don’t get many JetBlue customers over here,” he says.
"Was I supposed to go in at the other end of the terminal?"
"Nah, it’s all connected. Line’s shorter here anyway. You’re good."
By the time I get through security, my flight status has changed from ON TIME to POSSIBLE DLY.
Something that I can’t seem to get out of my head is the rug in my father’s living room; I noticed during my visit that he had gone and cut off all the tassels. “It’s a pain to clean,” he told me, although I had never asked why they were missing. There was another rug in the den (6’ by 8’ with tassels intact) that I rolled up and moved into the garage for him. I guess it makes sense; the vacuum cleaner is a lot heavier than the Swiffer, and every time you have to bend down (say, to pull tassels out of the vacuum) is another strain on your back that you could do without.
Inside the plane, the pilot announces we are third in line to take off and that we’ll be standing by for another seventeen minutes. As for the 75-minute delay up to this point? “If you’ve ever flown into New York,” he says, “you know there are always delays going into New York.”
I’m not sure how many more trips like this one there will be; the idea that I might be able to count them makes me uneasy. During the car ride to the train station, there was (again) talk about moving to a retirement community closer to the city, so that he can ditch the car for good. “Or maybe in Taiwan — it’s a lot cheaper there,” he said. It’s unclear how he will decide, or if he wants me to decide for him.
In the row ahead of me in seat 16E is a German kid — probably a college student — who keeps repeating, “Shit, oh my gott!” at the score of the game…
Five hours later my eyes are strained from reading in the bad light. We touch down and I’m not liking the LIRR schedule; the next train to Woodside is at 10:15, then 10:25 and then 10:49. I reach the Jamaica platform at 11:10 and get to Sunnyside in twenty. I book it down the stairs and over to Forty-Seventh and Greenpoint Ave. I used to know the bus schedule from this corner by heart, but it’s been a while. Was it 11:34 or 11:38? (The answer turns out to be neither, since it’s running late.)
By the turn onto Van Dam Street I’m the only person left on the bus — the Ghost World stretch, from here to my front door.
B24 drivers are known to take their breaks early by simply parking at the Manhattan Avenue stop and ignoring the last few stops on the route. But tonight I happen to be sitting here, and I’m tired and I’m not volunteering to walk the extra block.
"Franklin Street," I remind the driver.
"Okay," she says. "You got it."