On Time Travel
Today was a long day.
I went to bed much too late, especially given the fact that I had a 6a flight out of La Guardia. Jes and I spent the evening downtown out for dinner and then a poetry slam (where I was one of the judges – more thoughts on this experience coming soon). After lethargic trains that insist on stopping at every single station, we finally made it home after midnight. An hour or so later, turning of the lights after 130a (after watching an episode of Weeds with Jes) left me with less than three hours of sleep before my alarm nudged me awake so I could catch my 415a cab to the airport. Or at least that’s what was supposed to happen.
We closed the computer mid episode, finally ready to call it a night and we fell asleep. The next thing I remember is not my alarm lovingly rocking my shoulder. I don’t remember my alarm at all (or the back up I set in case that happened, or the back up’s back up — I slept through three alarms!) I awoke at 430a, not too late but well beyond the waiting tolerance of an early morning cab driver, convinced I was going to miss my flight to Grand Rapids and ruin everything (I may have been a bit over dramatic).
Jes helped me get everything together. She called me a cab, lovingly asked what she could do to calm my obviously flustered self, and I was on my way by 445a. From Washington Heights I drove to LGA, procured my tickets, made it through security, wooed by way into an exit row, and settled in for some reading and a not-quite-comfortable nap towards the Midwest.
I landed and quickly checked my next gate. G2 – start walking. As I do I look at my ticket to see my flight time: 830a. I look at my watch to see the current time: 823a. It was my missed alarm clock morning all over again.
How did this happen? Did the plain take a detour while I was sleeping? Did they underestimate the time it would take to travel from the big city to the Windy City? I walked as fast as my tired body would allow, keeping an eye out for the letter G and whichever direction the arrow was pointing. And I finally found my gate, my watch telling me I’m more than late and will be lucky to see anyone at my terminal. Tell my watch I’m lucky, because the display still read “Grand Rapids” and an American Airlines employee was tapping away on the keyboard.
She looked up at me. “I have two questions,” I said. “Have they boarded the flight to Grand Rapids yet?”
“And is there anything available with a bit more leg room?”
Thank you Jesus.
With my new ticket in hand and a gate that for some reason appeared to be boarding extremely late (nearly thirty minutes at this point), I walked a couple gates away to find something to eat. I returned, sandwich in hand, to find a long line stretching back from the gate. I joined in, thinking I would probably finish eating before I even made it to board the plane.
And then someone walked up to the line and asked, “Is this the line boarding for Hartford?”
I looked up at the display. Hartford was listed next to Grand Rapids. Only it said that the departure was at 758a, a time my watch proudly told me was almost exactly one hour in the past.
Then it hit me. I had traveled through time, from one time zone to another. And while my phone will lovingly keep track of my location, my watch requires a bit more waits for me to tell it where we are. And we were in Chicago, not New York. We were in the Central Time Zone, not Eastern.
My rushing and worrying and reliving my how-did-I-sleep-through-three-alarms experience was unnecessary. The “hour late” I was accusing my flight was actually a “right on time.” My body was in one place and my mind was living in the future. I had traveled through time without even realizing it.
And so my long day began.
From there I made it to Grand Rapids and then to Mars Hill for a morning and afternoon of meetings and program prep. Around 5p I hit a wall, my body realizing it had been up for over 12 hours with hardly enough sleep (and also probably crashing from the two soy lattes I drank that morning – one at the airport and the other on my way to the office). Students and leaders began arriving around 630p for our evening student gathering. I alternated between high fives, conversations, and whatever still needed to be set up or prepped for the night. And at 7p the program began.
After a welcome, a group activity, and a few songs, we went outside for my teaching. We are reading through the sermon on the mount and are currently up to Jesus’ words on salt and light. So naturally I spent most of my time shaking salt onto a globe (and hopefully connecting a few meaningful words and ideas along the way).
The teaching ended, students dispersed to their small groups, returning thirty minutes later. We ended the night (Erin Clauson was once again the most hilarious announcement co-host) and I spent the next thirty minutes talking with students before meandering late into a Middle School Leaders meeting.
The meeting ended, most of it a blur, most likely from my lack of sleep and seventeen waking hours of travel and work, and we began the final clean up and “get gone” of the night.
And so my long day finally came to an end. Only the time travel isn’t done yet. Because in my “I can do anything for five days in a row” ferver, I realized I hadn’t finished a blog post for Tuesday. So I sat down to write this post. And while technically it is Wednesday, a simply point and click allows me to travel through time and back-date this for yesterday.
Blogging day 2: complete.
March 20, 2012