And really, what was I thinking?  Traveling the weekend before Christmas?  And those poor huddled hungry masses I was just talking about with such concern? Fuck ’em- let ’em take Greyhound.

Things don’t start too well when M. rolls over and mumbles,”Mark, what time do we need to get up?  It’s 6:22″

Grogging to reality, “Umm, well, my plane leaves at 7:00”.

You can imagine what followed.

And not surprisingly, I made it to the gate with time to spare (I treat any time between me getting there and the doors closing as time to spare, thank you).  Unfortunately, Delta had failed to consult me about today’s travel schedule, and cancelled the flight.  Joy.

So, knowing that my three day foul mood streak was still, well, streaking, I’ve decided to save the stress of multiple attempts throughout the morning to get on the plane, and just leave on an open flight later in the day.

Brilliant strategist that I am, I failed to remember that about 15 minutes after the impeachment vote (that’s how long it take to get from the floor of the House to National Airport Terminal C), the place will be filled with staffers getting the fuck out of Dodge.  And really, I don’t want to be around these people anyway.

Unless I could get a seat next to Bob Barr.  I’d really really really like that.



Sitting in Hartsfield Concourse E for the millionth time, and not being able to help feeling that it’s gonna be the last time in a while.  It always seems as if you wait too long to appreciate what you have, even when you know you’re going to lose it.

The flight from DC to here was fine, thought it started a bit later in the day than I would have liked. I ended up sitting next to a kid who’d gotten a new Lego set, special for the trip. I was almost jealous.  Normally, I do everything I can to avoid children on planes, but this one seemed well behaved. That’s a rarity, and even more so in first class.

He kept to himself, and I split my time between replying to email and stealing glances at the progress of his Lego project. We both put our things up when the meal came, some chicken breast and couscous/vegetable platter. It wasn’t immediately apparent that it was a chicken breast and vegetable platter, and I found no small amount of humor in noticing that the
kid looked at me to figure out how to eat it.


On arrival, we had a gate change that put me within a 3 minute walk from the jetway to the curb where I usually meet my sister. The more you travel, the more tiny little things like that matter.  A. was at the curb in short order, and we headed off to grab a late lunch in Fayetteville.

That left a couple of hours to take in the aftermath of the impeachment hearings. Somewhere over Lake Alatoona, Georgia, the President of the United States had been impeached. I’m glad I wasn’t in front of a television when that happened. I’ve actually shifted in my opinion on the proper outcome, but it hasn’t lessened the visceral anger I’ve felt over the past week.


Looking at it sitting on the runway, it seems a smallish plane to be flying over the Atlantic in. I miss the old 747-200’s, with 10 seat wide rows and a second floor for the first class (which I’d only ever glimpsed via a 2am covert operation on a flight over to Frankfurt in 1985). But these are wide and comfortable, and my usual habit of placing a standing request for a full Tanqueray & tonic glass ensures a quick slip into sleep. I usually wake up as we approach the Irish coast, and always wish I’d thought to wear something less prone to wrinkling.

It seems my father is already there, and is going to pick me up in a car. No small luxury, as that means I can skip the 32,000 foot change from slacks and a linen shirt to jeans and a pullover. Manchester to Nottingham is a beautiful drive, and I hope the day is worthy of a few snapshots.

Then – having left home, and stopped by home along the way – I’ll be home.