A relaxing evening of tranquil online writing and browsing, lavender-scented bath (thanks, pittenweem!), and all the comforts of a generic business hotel are at my disposal. Of course, I had intended to be in Arkansas right now. But therein lies a handful of stories.
The night seemed interminable as it often does when a mad final push of packing requires it. I napped sporadically, my waketimes alternating between mourning the loss of my apartment and smiling over fond memories. I've been napping on and off all day and I'm still tired. It might be just as well that I don't have any familial obligations now until tomorrow. For twelve hours, I can live in a bubble and catch up on sleep.
One of my morning errands was at the bank, getting a money order with which to the pay the shippers. I waited in line, waited while the banker waited for other people to approve things, waited while he printed it out. He was so impressed with my patience - he said - that he waived the service fee on the money order.
Patience, indeed, was the only way of making it through the morning, taxi ride after taxi ride, errand after errand, with a respite of brief nap at pittenweem's in the midst of it all. I was wearily focused until I came up against the Bell Store, attempting to return my modem. They asked me to take a number, and then I waited and waited as other clients pushed forward in other lines, skipping the number system entirely. Eventually my number was called by the only group using them - a trainee and his trainer. Desperate for time, of course, I had a trainee who didn't really know what he was doing yet to help me. There was nothing for it, but to be patient. And afterwards, at the post office, I heaped fulsome praise on the efficiency and competency of the postal worker who assisted me.
I made it to the plane in reasonable time, we board promptly, and then sat and sat and sat under the lurid brown and blue haze which obscured Toronto from the sea of concrete on which we sat. I can hardly call it patience when I kept falling asleep. Off at the concrete sea's shore was a snow-dappled mountain... surely construction debris, but strikingly snowlike nevertheless. Snow, however, was not our problem. The problem was threat of lightning, and Toronto is very strict about keeping its groundstaff inside when there is any risk of lightning. We wouldn't go until they could work again, an hour and a half later.
On arriving in Chicago, I was relieved to find that my second plane had been delayed - there was enough time to catch it! Except, of course, it was delayed again... and then cancelled for mechanical issues.
And so here I am in Chicago until noonish tomorrow, equipped with a hotel room, bath salts, a toothbrush, an internet connection, but not a full change of clothing. It's a real pity I'm missing out on being with my family, especially my grandmother, but I've been patient all day. I can patiently relax into an evening's calm escape, away from the rest of the world. At least for tonight.