Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Look at My Summer

Believe it or not, this summer I did actually do some work. I wanted to share some pieces with you, but for a reason or two (OK- well because my sister is pregnant but we weren't out of the woods yet about telling everyone) I waited. So as I sit procrastinating cleaning the other half of my desk and the miscellaneous items left to unpack in my closet I came across my notebook from this summer and decided to share. I'll do just a couple at a time so I don't overwhelm my readers! Ha!

[A/N: This first piece is a narrative haiku, format inspired by the writing style of Basho. I wrote this piece while on the Euro Star returning to London from Paris. This was the main piece in my Creative Portfolio. I hope you like it because it really was emotional to write. Enjoy!] 

Leaving for London’s Calling

My 10+ years of begging, pleading and wanting to come to London was finally paying off. June 8th, the day I had been waiting for since January when I found out I was accepted into the AIFS program, had finally arrived. The morning came, early with a list of things to do. Excitement filled my bones as I lazily dragged myself from bed.  
A dark room awakens
The bed begins to stir
A journey awaits

Today was the day that I leave for London. I had a list of things to pack, things to double check, and a list, left by my mom, of things to clean. Finally, with everything clean, packed and loaded, I set off to the bank. I needed some pounds and I was lucky that they had some in the branch.
“When are you going to London?” my cashier asked.
“Today. A few hours,” I said with a smile. She looked shocked.
“Wow, that’s awesome. I’m jealous!” she responded. I wondered if she was secretly judging me for waiting until the last minute to get money, but I didn’t care; I was finally going to London!
I picked up my mom at her office and we headed to the airport.  We planned on meeting up with my sister for some lunch before I set off. Being as awful at directions as she is, to no surprise, she got lost. Once she finally arrived, we took the shuttle to the airport and checked my bag. We looked around for somewhere to eat, but nothing was jumping out. We decided to eat at Atlanta Bread Company.  I waited for my Chicken Waldorf sandwich with no lettuce, mayo or onion, and my mom’s sandwich with my water in hand. Once we were called I grabbed the food and spun around.
“Don’t tell anyone but I’m pregnant,” my sister blurts. My jaw drops, my eyes well up, and I do a not very non-nonchalant happy dance and give her a hug.
“Oh my gosh! When did you find out? Oh my gosh I’m going to cry!” I fan my eyes, Miss America style.
“Last night. I figured I’d tell you before you left.”
A restaurant stands
Sisters embrace at a counter
A joyful tear falls

Turns out my mom just happened to see my reaction and had mother’s intuition about what had just happened. We were sworn to secrecy from the rest of the family until Father’s Day, when my sister planned on telling everyone. My mom and sister had to leave. My mom had a 6-hour drive to my dad’s apartment in North Carolina and my sister had an hour and a half drive back to her husband and their house. I hugged and kissed them goodbye, and with a final wave and giddy dance, we were off to different parts of the world.
I was still giddy from the news as I went through security. I found my way to my gate and plopped down. I checked my phone every couple of minutes. Ya see, my dad was flying back to his “home” in North Carolina after being in Pennsylvania for the week for work. Just so happened that was planned to have a layover in Atlanta right around the time I’d be there and waiting. I hoped and silently prayed that I’d be able to see him. Since he had to move for work and since I moved out for school, I’ve not gotten to see him nearly as often as I’d like. He told me that his plane had to be changed and everyone had to de-board and get on another plane. I sat in my chair hoping to hear from him soon.
“Flight to New Jersey gate has been changed from D18 to D8” boomed a voice over the loud speaker. I waddled back down the airport to the D8 gate with my bags weighing my small self down, while frantically texting my dad the change.  ‘If anything, this is better since it’s closer to the train incase he lands at one of the other gates,’ I thought. I decided on a seat facing the people walking down the terminal. Looking back, it was rather odd since I enjoy watching airplanes. Every couple of minutes I glanced down at my phone, double and triple checking that my texts to my dad went through or to see if he had sent a response. I had no idea what gate he’d be coming in at, and this airport is massive! The time quickly ticked closer to my board time and I was beginning to really stress out. ‘Man, if only I could just see my dad before I leave. This would then be the perfect last day.’ I look up to see a man, mostly-bald with hair only on the side and back of his head, like a horseshoe of hair, a briefcase and a brisk walk.
“DADDY!” I yell, not caring what anyone around me may think of my yelling. All the men passing down the terminal look, except my dad. I throw my phone, jacket and boarding pass down on my chair and run out to the man. Just as I’m a foot away and about to jump and throw my arms around him he finally looks at me. A grin grows where his determined lips were. ‘He made it,’ I thought, as tears began to well in my eyes and escape. ‘Thank you Lord.’
My dad reached into his pocket, quite awkwardly since I clung to him like a starfish, and pulled out his ever-present handkerchief. That was one thing daddy was always equipped with.
At the airport lands
A plane at the D gate
Father rushes for goodbye

The waterworks stopped and my dad and I sat back down to enjoy the final moments before boarding. I couldn’t stop hugging him and smiling and echoing, “I’m so glad I got to see you.” He pulls out his boarding pass and looks at it.
“Do you think this will get me on your plane?” he asks.
“Let me call mom and tell her to turn around because daddy’s coming to London!” I joked. Too soon they began calling for boarding. I gave my dad numerous goodbye hugs and kisses and with a deep breath, chin up and a handkerchief, I boarded the plane to New Jersey.
            New Jersey was pretty uneventful. If you’ve ever been there then I apologize. I did meet a nice girl from Texas who was flying to the UK to spend some time with her boyfriend. I was glad we met and began talking because we ended up enduring a 3+ hour layover then flight delay together, and even sat diagonally from each other on the plane. We boarded and left around 11:30, and didn’t get dinner until close to 1:30. It was gooey, dry and chewy but I was so hungry I didn’t think about it until later. Finally I tried to sleep. A few successful sleeping spurts graced me with their presence over the Atlantic until I was awaken by an immigration card and the word “breakfast”.  The roll and butter didn’t last long once it hit my tray. I wished the cantaloupe and honeydew had been something other than cantaloupe and honeydew. I watched the final leg of the journey from the TV tracking the planes location until we hit Ireland; then I watched out the window. The land masses began to grow, waves crashed on the coasts, green fields stretched and decorated the countryside with little towns in between. The decent began and touchdown was a success. I was starved and sleep deprived, but I was in London. 
The plane touches down
Excitement fills the passengers
Here goes nothing

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