Wednesday, September 15, 2010

D Day Minus 172 (September 18, 2009): Part 1: The Vortex

“We have to show Dad this next time he comes to Houston.” You said the third time we double-backed through the echo chamber vortex at Bush Intercontinental Airport. We noticed it last week and thought it was cool, but you were so hungry we didn’t linger like we did today. The vortex was this dome-like structure intersecting terminals marked by a big circle imprinted on the floor. It was so awesome. Today, you didn't notice the vortex until I said, “GREG.” And it echoed, “GReG…..GReg…Greg…greg.” Then I said “NANCY IS GREAT.” And it echoed “Nancy is great” seven or eight times. You said, “BEAM ME UP.” And it echoed “Beam me up.”

When your “beam me up” was almost through echoing, you nearly tripped over a little curly red head toddler (who reminded me of you at two). Curly red head Tot’s dad picked him up and smiled at you. Actually, it was the shirt you were wearing. Dad bought it last April while you recuperated from your surgery. It was the one with the frog choking a stork with the caption –“Never give up.”

You and Tot’s dad talked and laughed about the shirt. I wanted you to kind of hurry because I was overdue for some contraband. I really needed a fix since I had to dump all of mine to get through security and it wasn't even six in the morning.

I gave you some space.  And took a little trip of my own.  I went back in time -- complete with my zebra roll-around carryon and 2009 electronic gadgets-- right through the echo chamber vortex at Bush Intercontental. I landed in 1991, when you and Morgan just got your walkie talkies and liked to spy on Dad and me. That was when you were still best friends and didn't need to impress anyone.  It was way before cell phones, peer pressure, the Internet, and trying to fit in.

In the vortex, 1991 was magical.  When it was 1991, it was a blur.  I was busy surviving and making a name for myself and trying to live up to my version of everyone's expectations.  I wasn't present in the moment, like I am now.  I owe that to you, Dad, and Morgan.  It's funny how you have to nearly lose something and be willing to let it go, to realize what you have.   I've told you that a million times -- since I realized it.

But you know what, even though I wasn't in the present in 1991, you and Morgan gave me a present.  Your spy notes.  I found them cleaning the basement.  Most of the notes went something like, "Mom looks tired.  Mom is exercising. Dad is watching television. Mom is studying.  Dad is fixing dinner. Mom is kissing Dad.  Mom is going to the store.  Mom has a headache. Dad is smoking."  Each entry had the date and time and stuck to the facts.   Your notes made me laugh.  It's funny to see things from you and your sister's perseptive.  At least you had Morgan and the two of you had a common enemy -- Dad and me.

You probably thought I was smiling at you and your story about the shirt.  But I wasn't.  It was memories of you and your partner in crime, Morgan, through grade school.  They echoed through my mind -- just as vivid as if I would have said them out loud.  Right there in the vortex.

No comments:

Post a Comment