I returned the rental car right on time. Four hours of driving from the central coast. No delays through San Jose. Confident. My flight is at 2:30. I zip my credit card through the self check-in machine. Canceled. Weather. Somewhere between San Francisco and Chicago. The AA desk agent asks me if Continental through Minneapolis would be OK. Certainly! I smile. But then. She stops. And utters a single word. Travelocity. She stops chirping. My face falls. No inter-airline changes. Travelocity policy. Their corporate dollars up against my time. I lose. There are other AA flights. No, I am told. There are no connections for me from Chicago. People are already sleeping in the airport there. There are no hotels. And I. Must wait. Eleven hours. 660 minutes of my life. And fly through the night.
A nap on the floor. A novel. Knitting. Crossword puzzle. Lather, rinse, repeat. And repeat and repeat. I overhear dozens of cell phone conversations. I do not want to know the details of their [family] [work] [pets] [travel plans] or [intimate lives]. I mentally check "None of the above," but can't find a phone-free space. This is not my finest zen hour. Snarky. Barbed. Rockity. Knowing I won't be home until morning.