September 26, 2008

Flying out of Boston (after THAT day)

I am supposed to fly back to Italy tonight on the first date flights have been allowed since the attacks. We are in for a long night, just as the US is in for a long conflict. I’m at Logan Airport. I arrived dutifully three hours ahead of time, actually 3.5 hours ahead because traffic from Framingham to Logan was (unsurprisingly) light for almost rush-hour. The lines spilled out in all directions as I heaved and lugged my overheavy Samsonite plus my overloaded old red Ventura plus my brown carry-on from the express bus to the entrance. There I stopped, uncertain. My load was way too heavy to start off in the wrong line or the wrong end of the terminal. An Indian-looking woman stopped me. She was wearing a blue uniform (but it’s easy to have an official-looking uniform) and carrying a yellow card with a question mark on it.

"Where is BA?"

"The line starts against the wall over to the left, next to that long one for Aer Lingus."

"Do you have a luggage cart around? These bags are mighty heavy."

To my relief and gratitude, the woman nodded and disappeared for a moment or two, darting here and there as a policeman trying to flag down a motorist in heavy traffic, and returned from the melee pushing a luggage cart. I seized it gratefully, wondered if I should tip her, decided against it, and pushed my way to the end of my line.