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The Long Walk Home

The Long Walk Home

So after 14 nights in Utah, I am finally back amongst the gunless and free health cared.

I almost didn’t make it, and the past 24 hours are a blur of planes, trains and automobiles. Yesterday morning I got up at 6am to await my 6:45 Park City shuttle to take me to the airport. Reports of a storm almost made me switch my flight, but later news suggested the storm wouldnt hit Salt Lake City until later in the day so I took a chance. The shuttle was 45 minutes late, which left me with 2 hours and 30 minutes until my flight left. Which I figured would be fine. But the snow was very intense, and the driver still had 3 more pickups, all of which result in spinning nearly out of control on side roads. Everyone that was picked up was a party of one, and I luckily sat in the front seat. After 14 days of this (and 3 hours sleep), I wasn’t in the mood for socializing. They tried anyway.. each of them with their business cards and their choices for favourite Sundance films and thoughts on whether Paris Hilton-esque celebs should be banned from Park City. Excessive and loud rants of self-promotion eventually led them to ask me what my thoughts on Sundance were to which I… tired, without coffee, and anxious that I might miss my flight.. bitchily replied I didn’t attend. “Why were you here then,” the budding filmmaker who talked up a horrendous sounding short film about the ghosts of Osama Bin Laden and George W meeting 50 years from now, asked me. “I like to ski.”

I finally got into the terminal at 9:00. The shuttle driver warned me the storm was about to hit and I’d be lucky if my flight wasn’t delayed. I checked inside and so far, so good, though I could have used some time at this point as my flight was at 9:45. First, checked in. 9:10. I walk upstairs to go through security and see the longest fucking line I’ve ever seen in an airport. Honestly hundreds of anxious people in a line that looped around hallways that weren’t intended for lines. I overheard an angry man ask an employee: “Is this usual?” She said it was very unusual and they didn’t staff thinking this would happen. “How long is the wait?” She said at least an hour. My flight, at this point, left in half an hour. I hate people that do this and I swear its my one get-out-of-jail-free card, but I butted. I went to near the front of the line and said I needed to get home as there was a death in the family. And played up my Canadian-naive-young thing with the saddest eyes I could mount. I know. I’m horrible. But I’m also an idiot because I realized then and there, with 10 people in front of me, I had not checked my toiletry case and that an expensive array of aerosol cans and face gels would soon either go in the garbage or lead me to a security room where some Mormon security officer would strip search me. I put the small ones in a plastic bag and threw out about $100 worth of vanity. I made it through (and realized I still had cologne in my bag and nothing had happened). 9:38. I’m the last person they board. I’m magazineless and coffeeless and gumless and the storm is starting and I fucking hate flying. The plane starts moving and I ask the woman next to me to shut the window because I’m afraid of flying. “I like to look, thats why I got a window seat,” says the bitch. I take a sedative and read that stupid “Air Store” catalogue thing and think of meadows and babies as the plane has a turbulent time getting to 40,000 feet.

But I made it back. And actually had a much easier time than others.

I’ll do the whole reflections-on-a-sundance thing by day’s end. But for now I’m just happy to be home.

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