Sunday, August 22, 2010

There and Back Again

In D.C. I felt ill. We had a short layover there until the last leg to Chicago. I barely slept on either flight over. We sat near four smelly men on our way to D.C. and I reached that point where you're uncomfortable no matter what. Can't sit. Can't stretch. Can't eat. So when I got to D.C. the rooms were spinning and I nearly fainted. I told Mom I had to go to the ladies room and she was asking me something about my bag. I said whatever and walked away and she insisted that she take my bag. No I needed to brush my teeth and I can't even talk anymore. I just kept the bag and walked on. It could have been hunger or dehydration or exhaustion but I felt very seriously ill. After freshening up I had to eat immediately so I looked for Mom but didn't see her. I figured she went back to the gate after walking with me to the bathroom.

I stopped for healthy snacks and an OJ and walked on to the gate which was about 25 feet away but she wasn't there. That was odd. I called her and she said she just went around the corner to call Dad and where was I? I told her to come back to the gate. D3. We had been there once already so I figured this was no big deal.

Too much time went by. I called her but she didn't have reception and it went to voice mail. The plane started to board. I called 5 times. Nothing.

I was about to ask them to page her when she called me crying.

Where are you? I don't know where I am!

What? I told you D3.

Why did you leave me? I don't know where I am!!

Oh come on. We're boarding. You were right down the hall, you couldn't have gone far.

You said B3.

No. D3. My god did you go all the way to another wing?

How could you walk away from me?

Just ask someone how to get here.

Mom arrived at the gate livid. She didn't even look at me. We had a little time if she wanted to get a snack too but she was too angry to grab anything and just wanted to get on the plane. I offered her my yogurt but she refused and blamed me for us nearly missing this flight as well.

No. No. No. I'm not taking any more drama. This is not my fault. I showed you where the gate was.

You shouldn't have left me alone. I wouldn't have walked out on you.

I didn't see you. I figured you went back to the gate.

I don't feel good.

You know what? I don't feel good either and I have nothing to apologize for. You should have been able to get yourself back 25 feet from where we started. Besides the gate was listed on your boarding pass.

I opened a book. She calmed down and tried to make small talk with me but I had snapped. I could no longer make conversation and please her. I thought we reached a good place sitting at that Gloria Jeans. We joked about how we would laugh about this someday and made fun of our flirtatious baristas.

We had talked extensively about the food in Israel: salad for breakfast and several white cheeses on wheat crackers, sweet yellow grape tomatoes to snack on, and Hana's wonderful home cooking. We went out to share a traditional Israeli breakfast one day and Inbar ordered Shakshouka for her son. I had never heard of this before and loved the name so much I had to have the recipe! Shakshouka is chopped tomato and red pepper sauteed in a pan with spices. Then you drop 2 eggs right in the middle and let the sauce cook them. It's delicious and simple.

I mentioned how much I liked it to Yanay and he said: Aviva, it's eggs and tomato.

I know! But it's so good. I've never made breakfast that way!

Aviva. It's eggs and tomato.


I thought of moments like that when I was on the last leg home. Something small to make me smile and realize that it was worth it to see these people and have a sense of family. It was overwhelmingly sad to have made it that far only to have Mom angry at me again for nothing. I wanted to have a special mother/daughter moment at some point during the ordeal but here we were in a perpetual state of drama. Some things can't be fixed and you have to accept circumstances the way they are. I wish I could help her be happier but now I know that I've done what I can.

There was talk of a real dinner when we got home but I was a wreck. Without saying a word to anyone I laid down and slept for 13 hours straight.

2 days later I went back to work and realized that I couldn't take anymore of that crap either. I gave notice that my final day would be that Friday, July 23.

The contract supervisor said: you know you're supposed to give a 2 week notice.

I know. But I'm not going to.

And on July 23 I finished my job and gained a little more freedom. Fuck them.

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