Saturday, October 21, 2006

Cyberspace to Paris - Part 7

This story starts HERE

My concern was never about whether I was going to be safe. I had travelled to France twice before and of course I spoke the language, so I knew I would be ok. My biggest concern was that Andy would get cold feet and stand me up at the airport.

My sister gave me the number of some friends she knew in London just in case he backed out; and she made me promise her that if that happened I would go on to France as planned and have a wonderful time. So, I promised her I would.

My journal entries of the first day of my trip are as follows:

April 2, 1998 Hobby Airport - Houston

I was up at 4:00 a.m. Had strange dreams last night. I dreamt he wore glasses; square lenses with metal rims and that he was somewhat flighty. Not nearly as handsome as his photos but I was really enjoying myself nonetheless. Then the scene changed. I was following him in a car to the airport and lost him. I couldn't find him anywhere. Then suddenly, I woke up, looked at my clock and couldnt' return to sleep.

I am nervous; so much flying ahead of me, so I'm occupied with the flying. I hope I sleep on the plane to Gatwick. On verra.

9:45 Atlanta Georgia

The flight over was uneventful. The little cookies they passed out were tasty and the airline was very generous with them.

I'm still nervous. i'm mixed with feelings regarding my trip and my impending unemployment when I return.....very scary.

But what I would like to do within the next four hours is leave it all here in Atlanta. I'm not going to bring anything on this trip that I don't need.

Present mental state: Uncertainty due to my trip and my future. Good mood, vulnerable. Feeling apprehension, not focused.

I decided to wander around the airport a bit and see if I could locate some breakfast. After walking past so many gates, I stumbled across a Wendy's. Well if Wendy's has a spot here, then so must Burger King. After an inquiry, I discovered I was right and ventured to another concourse.

I met two really nice older ladies heading out to Florida for an antique show. They were carrying large jars of maple syrup with them.

April 2nd evening - Waiting to fly from Boston to Gatwick.

I remember the first time I road the Texas Cyclone at Astroworld. The intial, almost 90 degree drop was it's claim to fame. It is a simple old-fashioned wooden roller-coaster much like the one at Coney Island in New York.

I was so excited just thinking about riding it and wasn't the least big discouraged by the long 2-hour wait to get on the ride. This ride represented an act of bravery and maturity. It was speed, thrill and an intense adventure to the wide-eyed 12 year old that I was at the time.

When I sat in the car and the attendant strapped me in, a little tinge of apprehension set in but not to worry. I was fine. Then the train slowly pulled away from the loading platform and made the turn to approach its initial incline. It would be from this first hill that the ride would gain enough inertia to carry it through its entire tour.

The car jolted as the chain gripped us to pull us to the top. It was a crude clunky rhythmic sound and we jerked about as the string of cars began the ascent. The closer we got to the top of this incline, the more I began to wonder if this was such a great idea.

Suddenly, I felt so vulnerable in the high open air. I could see the top of the Astrodome for Christ's sake. There was such a wide gap between the safety bar and me; would the seat belt really hold me tightly enough? I want off this thing! But it's too late. I couldn't turn back, we were almost at the top and finally, I reached the pinnacle of my fear and panic.

That's almost how I feel right now. I'm about to board my final flight and it feels as though I am approaching the initial incline of this "roller coaster". But oh! it is such an adult roller coaster.

I am still so very excited by this ride.

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