the big d
The day started with the alarm clock going off at 4:40. AM. I like to sleep in to maybe 8:30 or 9 if I have no where to be. If I have to get up early for work I can. However, getting up before 5 is inhumane I think. Add to that the inability to fall asleep/stay asleep the night before. If I fall asleep now, I'll get 4 hours of sleep. Now, 3 and a half hours...
So bright and early--no, make that dark and early--I'm up and driving to the airport. I time myself. It takes 25 minutes. I remember the moment during my interview for this job where the boss' boss (who does not live in Houston and my bet is that she has also never been to the small suburb in which I dwell) told me I was wrong about how long it took me to get to both airports from my home. Just for the record, I'm not wrong. I've driven the routes a few times in the last 14 months.
I fly Southwest. The unassigned seats and the subsequent lines that form pre-boarding irritate me about Southwest. Or they used to. I realized yesterday how to work the system. You get in line after a cute boy. You then have the "freedom" that Southwest offers to sit next to the cute boy. My flight was kind of slim pickins so I sat by So-So Boy. It was more about the realization than the actual boy this time.
Things were going well. I got in a little reading and a little nap. When I stepped back into the airport in Dallas, coffee was awaiting me. I have an hour to get to my site that the internet assures me is only 17 minutes away. I take time to do last minute prep work and enjoy the coffee. I saunter to get a cab (which I hate doing--getting the cab, not sauntering), leaving about 40 minutes for the cabby to get me to my destination.
Old Man Cabby (which you can spell either "cabby" or "cabbie"--I looked it up) could not hear me the first time I said the address. Ok. That should have been a sign. I continue to talk saying things like "I think it's off of LBJ" and "it's in such-and-such Professional Plaza." OMC says he needs the address. I repeat the address. He drives off. I assume he knows where he's going.
I forget to ask if he takes credit cards. I rifle through my purse and find $22. Ok, I could probably make it on that. We're driving around not getting on any freeway but seemingly have a destination in mind. When we get to where he thinks we should be we slow down. To about 3 mph. On the street. People honk. After maybe a half mile of the slow driving OMC pulls into a parking lot to figure out where we are and how to get where I need to be. I'm supposed to be there in 10 minutes at this point. He pulls out the map. He chuckles a few times. He says he thought the place was over here. Really? I thought we were just going the scenic route. In Dallas. Scenic... The meter now says $21.45 or something and I ask if he takes credit cards. He does. He also turns off the meter.
We get back on the road where I proceed to get attention from a biker.
We get on the freeway. Things are looking good. Even though I'm late, I'm not stressed. Until we exit the freeway. And are on the feeder road. And we just stop. On. The. Feeder. Stopped. Stopped right next to a driveway to a parking lot that he does not pull into. There, stopped on the feeder, he proceeds to again pull out the map. After the first car swerves to avoid hitting us and honks, OMC does not pull into the drive. He turns on his hazards. He does not just glance at the map. He's again trying to figure out where he went wrong. I try to remain calm. I try to tell myself I'm not going to die in a cab. I try to remain limp so that when we get rear-ended by someone going 60 off the freeway exit I will minimize resistance. I have a brief vision of being impaled by my laptop that is in the trunk behind me. Miraculously, we don't die. He figures out (again) where we're going and we are off.
We finally make it to the office. He apologizes profusely. He charges me $20. I do not tip. I think to myself that if I were to make a "10 Things--Dallas" list it would include "being alive" and not just because I couldn't think of anything better to put on it.