Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Baggage Drop--Baggage Claim
I leave with more weight than I came with.
Not just because of all the great food they served at the ACFW Conference in St. Louis, but also because of all the free books and those I bought after I resolved not to.
I've already paid for the airline to relieve me of my baggage, but now it's so heavy I fear the cost might climb.
I stagger up to the baggage drop, and heave the biggest suitcase on the scale. I hold my breath as the meter thingie wavers between 47 and 51 pounds. It finally settles at 49. Whew! One pound saves the day.
I wind my way through the security line where I strip myself of almost everything. I deposit computer and camera and purse and shoes into bins and place my computer bag (stuffed with files and notes and more books and Kashi dark chocolate coconut fruit and grain bars) on the belt.
Lights flash and bells ring as I step through the metal detector. I'm a winner! I win a random "modified" pat-down. They want to make sure that even though I look innocent enough I don't carry any hidden baggage.
I pass, so I claim all my belongings. I slip shoes back on. I hang straps over shoulders and list to the left. I crank up the handle of my computer bag to pull behind me with my right.
I enter the flow of travelers, eyes focused on signs above, as I head for my gate--feeling like one small fish in one large school of several schools. I swim with the current.
I pass a large Delta plane, nose pointed at the concourse window. I must be really tired, because I swear I'm staring at an albino Dory.
There's a delay at the gate. The flight attendant hasn't yet arrived.
I sink to the floor next to an outlet, plug in my phone, gather my stuff around me, lean against the wall and watch the people.
A baby dangles from a green sling on his mom's chest while she rolls her bag along.
A small dark-haired girl bearing a stuffed purple backpack almost as big as she is struggles to keep up with her dad who totes his own weight.
A blond-haired woman clicks black boot heels along the concourse. She totes a large pink canvas bag and black leather purse from one shoulder and pulls a bag that surely won't fit in an overhead compartment.
Lots of baggage everywhere.
We board late. Some of us relinquish our carry-ons to the small plane's belly--only to reclaim them when we disembark.
Once down the ramp, I enter the the stream that flows to baggage claim where I wait for my checked luggage to reappear on the rotating carousel. When my own bag appears, I use two hands to drag it off and drop it on my toe.
It's been a successful trip. The airline hasn't lost anything. They've returned what I've given up. And I take it all back again.
I stack bags on top of each other, pull handles, sling straps over shoulders.
Once again I bear my own burden.