missed connections, missing identity

I’m traveling and arrive late at night into a busy city airport, having missed my connection. I make my way to ground transportation and walk through ranks of tall rumbling buses, eventually locate the one I need, climb wearily aboard, ride it to my destination. Once my business is complete, I go back to the airport to fly home only to discover my ID is missing and recall its having been taken and handled by travel personnel on the trip out. I step up to the airline desk, bustling with hard, hassled-looking folks, and explain that my ID is missing, that I’d handed it over to them days prior, give them my maiden name, my married name.

The functionary thumbs quickly through a small file case, snaps it shut, says, “Nope,” and looks ready to move on to his next item of business.

I’m starting to panic a little and blurt out, “Wait! Wait! Could you look again? It must be here somewhere!”

The man sighs audibly and picks up the box once more. “Name?”

I repeat both names, spelling each succinctly.

He thumbs through the box with exaggerated care and says pointedly to me, “Not here.”

And I start to lose my shit. “Look,” I begin. “Your people took my ID from me and never gave it back—it must be here someplace.”

I start babbling a whole lot of extraneous information, how tired I’d been, how late it was, how I cant ‘fly home without this picture ID, and so on.

The guy’s getting visibly irritated and doing his best to simply ignore me and get on with the rest of the chaos at the desk until finally I snap and, raising my voice, say something like, “Would you fucking help me here?”

As soon as it’s out of my mouth I realize my mistake—the whole place immediately shuts down to me—I’ve crossed the line by cursing at them. I glance over at the supervisor’s window and see him glaring at me and realize I’m a hair’s breadth from getting hauled out of the place by security.

I grind my teeth, throw up my hands and walk away. Next I try the buses standing in lines like slumbering diesel-exhaling elephants. This goes on and on until I wake myself up with some verbal outburst in my sleep.

Beside me in bed Chris says, “What?” and I just say, “Dream,” and roll over.

I’ve fallen in the water, and the helicopter comes down to try to pick me up, but they hadn’t prepped for a water landing and don’t have the right shoes on the aircraft.

The pilot, who looks a good deal like Ving Rhames, says, “Let me see if I can do it.” But the feet immediately sink beneath the waves. Meanwhile someone else is throwing me grappling lines.

The pilot goes, “Crap. Okay, everybody hang on,” and he angles the machine downward and dives.

I have a split second to think, “Oh! It must be amphibious,” and draw a quick intake of air before I’m dragged along behind beneath the surface of the water and down. Presumably the plan is a quick dive and reemergence, but my lungs are burning until I expel my breath and wake up gasping.

Floyd is curled sleeping down where my feet would go, so I’ve torqued my body around him and return to wakefulness with a statement echoing from the dreamworld: I just keep tripping on all the dogs lying around the place.

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