Moon (o)(o) Lunar  

rm_nii88 52M
6 posts
6/23/2006 3:35 am
Moon (o)(o) Lunar

Traveling for a living was a grueling way to spend most of one's life. That single thought nagged at him as a constant reminder of his road warrior existence. It pulled on him with a weight equal to the weeks worth of luggage that he schlepped on a mad dash to catch the final flight home. Friday travel was always a zoo. It did not matter which airport he flew from ' direct flight or connection ' it was always a zoo. To add a little unnecessary excitement, his travel agent insisted on booking his connections through O'Hare with only 30 to 40 minutes of layover. That translated to a frantic sprint from jet service gates to the tiny commuter he always flew to Indianapolis.

It never ceased to amaze him that his closest connections always seemed to park at the gate on the most remote end of the concourse. Invariably, his connection to "Crop Dusters-R-Us", the regional commuter service to Indy, was always at the extreme end of a different concourse. His mouth watered for a drink, as he powered by the airport bar that enjoyed his company when he had more time. They would not be pouring his Jack-on-the-rocks-extra-shot-for-only-a-dollar-more tonight. This would have been a good night for a couple of Jacks too. He was badly in need of a painkiller.

Gate D-30 finally came into sight. The flight would not be crowded. It never was at 11:45PM. Anyone who really wanted to be in Indianapolis was already there. The waiting area was sparsely populated with several other travelers, all silently wrapped in their own agendas. The ticket counter sported a short, fat guy with no hair down the middle of his head, and a flashing red indicator of additional angst ' Flight Delayed. "Damn," he muttered under his breath. The delay was only twenty minutes, but a delay was still a delay ' most unappreciated considering he just trotted the 1,200 yard suitcase pull in world class time.

Settling into a seat facing the floor-to-ceiling window, questions regarding priorities popped into his head. The first one punctuated the pain that followed him on this trip segment, asking why he felt compelled to dash home with such enthusiasm. His empty apartment was waiting for him with no special appeal. Hell, most of his world was empty without her standing close enough for him to touch. Relegated to months of an email-only existence, the expanse of their separation yawed before him with a distance that was difficult to measure. By comparison, it felt like the void from where he stood to a place called infinity seemed closer.

A big sigh slid resignedly from his lips, as he stared past his forlorn reflection and into the blackness of the night. The blue and yellow lights outlining taxiways and runways went unseen, as did the scurrying baggage trams on the tarmac below. He was in that transition-state he hated. It was a postpartum, seesaw battle of emotion that balanced a mix of residual celebration of having just been with her for three days, and the painful knowledge that it would be several months before once again being in her arms.

The noisy turboprop interrupted his misery, as it appeared like a ghost out of the darkness. The right wheel brake locked down, pivoting the aircraft 180 degrees to face away from the terminal building. Props feathered with a whooshing noise, as the engines revved once, then died on cue. The airplane carried twenty-one midgets and leprechauns or a dozen adults comfortably. Seven of the latter stepped down the stairway that seconds earlier had been the door.

The turn-around servicing was quick. The gate attendant called for all rows to board, and the five other passengers going to Indy jumped up in unison to depart. He elected to go out last because it would take him longer to get on the plane. At this late hour it was time for him to say goodnight. It was his private time to look into the face of the moon and confess his love and longing for her.

Following the last passenger out the door, he looked up into the darkness to complete his nightly routine. The night sky was sprinkled with a mix of stars and planets that managed to force their brightness past the light pollution from the city of Chicago. He turned his head searching for his portal to share his late night confession. There was no moon. He turned around slowly in a complete circle to make sure he had not missed it. Another big sigh slipped away from him, as he stood fast looking instead at the few stars that were visible.

Every night he stopped whatever he was doing and exited from the chaos of his day to talk to her. The only thing they could share with any consistency was the moon. It's where they went at night to be together. They both would whisper into the night sky, speaking freely of their love, and wishing each other a good night's sleep. In the event there was no moon, they would share the star marking the front lip of the Big Dipper. Tonight, with the diffused light spoiling his ability to define any constellations, he felt obligated to complete the ritual to every star he could see.

"Sir?" the flight attendant asked, walking up to him. "Is everything alright?"

"Yes," he replied, still looking skyward, "it just takes me a bit longer to say goodnight when the moon is missing."

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