February 23, 2007

Strait is the Gate

Which way am I supposed to go, I wonder?

I expect I'll see a similar sign at the entrance to the Pearly Gates.

Meanwhile, though, I'm sitting in a major airport hub, waiting for my traveling companion. I expect she's blogging away somewhere in the concourse, maybe even at the gate, but a glance at her site shows she has not yet posted about her travels. It's 15 minutes till boarding, and I wasn't sure I was going to figure out how to get the photo from my borrowed camera into my computer and onto blogger in time -- but I have, I have! That makes it worth the $8/day internet service at DTW.

The first airplane flight I ever took landed at this airport, in 1969 when it was called Detroit Metro Airport. Looking out the big windows, I recognize the flat land, the thin snow, the bright blue, still, winter sky. The airport itself is much expanded and improved, but this time I'm not paying $24 dollars for student standby ($48 full fare), and this time we had to wait standing in the air of the tiny plane so that the short-handed airline could track down an employee, somewhere, anywhere, any employee, to connect the jet bridge to the plane. Moddin times, mon.

That first flight could be a post in itself: a waiting area full of New York college kids on their way to Michigan, getting to know each other on the fly, asking what dorms we were in, orming spontaneous groups to hunt down refreshments... I was waiting with my father, who'd driver me from the Bronx to LaGuardia, and when someone invited me to join a group prowling the airport, I first said, "No, I have to stay here with my father," but when I looked to check with Dad, he told me it was my choice; and I chose to go with the peer group, and that was the beginning of leaving home.

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