Jittery as I was before the Hawaii flight, Megan marched me to a cafe at the airport and told me to get a drink. While she sipped a respectable Earl Gray tea, I powered through a Bloody Mary (not typically my morning brew of choice) and prayed the empty stomach I’d awoken with meant the boozy beverage would phase me faster than a snow leopard attacks its pray. I then realized with a bizarre simile like that in my brain, I was certainly on my way to being more relaxed.
Megs and I made our way to our center seats, and I chased down two anxiety pills while Megan scarfed an ibuprofen (what a pair we were). From the other side of the seating divide, a young man walked up, checked his ticket, and looked toward us like he’d perhaps won the best lottery of all time: two youthful girls on an airplane, sitting directly next to him. He buckled himself in and within moments was trying to make conversation. Originally from Alabama he’d lived in a few urban areas and never quite told us why he was going to Hawaii, only noting they don’t have tropical places near Alabama to which Megan replied “What about the Bahamas? Or the Caribbean?” and chagrined, he said, “Oh right, besides those.”
Between my “breakfast” and the pills, I was quickly falling out of conversing-with-strangers-ability. See, one thing I haven’t mentioned is I actually have a lot of anxiety wrapped up in taking anti-anxiety medication: I’m both worried it won’t work if I don’t take time to let it happen (ie: conversation might get me too worked up), and equally worried it will work too well and I’ll go into a state of amnesia and talk about god knows what. (Imagine me without any filter. Yikes.) I became increasingly paranoid that merely polite chatter would lead me to crying and clutching this poor man’s hand while Megs tried to disassociate with me all with the Pacific Ocean waving softly somewhere below us (probably down at sea level) and without a word put in my earbuds and tried not to jump when I felt the plane inch away from the tunnel-plane-getter-on thing. Poor guy really seemed to think he was going to woo one of us when one was too scared and the other able to see right through him (love Megan for that).
Five hours later we landed in Honolulu, and without too much trouble picked up our rental car (first declining the laughably small Fiat they tried to give us to fit our equipment) and found the nearest Starbucks. Megan asked if I felt okay, noting I seemed a bit spacey, and I replied that golly gee I felt randomly great. After a nice drive to the hotel we made our way to the local WalMart for a few essentials we’d forgotten and I got distracted with a pair of leopard print sun glasses I was fairly certain needed to be added to my collection.
Pretty soon it was time to go meet my date, Alex, on the beach of Waikiki.
A list of things that happened post plane ride that tell you I’m not entirely off the medications yet: use of the phrase “golly gee,” a sincere lack of details about what happened after the flight, the fact that I didn’t understand why a Fiat wasn’t the best car for us, and the fact that I didn’t fight shopping at WalMart even once and I have no recollection of checking out of there (except I did find a receipt so I know I paid).