How I got to Homecoming…i think.

followthatbird Do you remember the movie follow that bird? Probably not. As a matter of fact, until about five years ago I thought that I had imagined it. But from what I remember, it was Big Bird from Sesame Street just trying to get home. [old record player needle drop]

“Sunny day/Sunny Day/Sweepin’ the clouds away/On my way to where the air is sweet/Can you tell me how to get/to 830 Westview Street…”

The day started off with an audition in Philly. I got the call the night before from Vi.

“George can you go in tomorrow at 2pm for a _________audition?”

My flight was set to leave Atlantic City at 2:58, so I asked Vi to ask them if I could go in first thing that morning. They said cool, so I went in. Audition was great. I read with three other “Philly natives” and got to meet an old casting director friend of mine from Many Moons ago.

But after that it all went bad. I had already secured a ride to the train station, a train that admittedly, I had reservations about as I had only ridden it once or twice before. But no matter, I got out of the audition early and had plenty of time to spare…until my ride canceled on me. So began the frantic thumbing through the phone to find somebody, anybody that could get me to the train. I needed to get there immediately.

I called one of my favorite cousins, [the one with a 2 year old and a 5month old] as if she had nothing else that she could be doing that day. Then I hit up the ATM. It is always good to roll out with a little cash in your hand…you never know what might happen. Truer words have never been spoken. bofaatm-300.2

I get to the train station and it looks as desolate as any street ever has. It is 12:50 when I walk to the train schedule board and see that the last train left 5 minutes ago and the next train wouldn’t arrive until 2:30. Do you remember what time my flight departs? That’s right kiddies 2:58.

“God, do the impossible.”

From the top of the platform comes the first ram in the bush. A tall black man, wearing an obviously-out-of-season straw hat, paces down the stairs to find me looking at the schedule board as if it would change if I stared at it long enough. After consulting with him, we decided that my best move would be to take the bus–whenever it shows up.

In that very second, the bus shows up.

Not knowing if I would make the flight, or where this bus was actually heading I decided to start tweeting . I called the series Tweeting Live Miracles (TLM) because I knew that God would work it out and I wanted to be a living witness. And the truth is, I needed to know that people were paying attention and praying.

Some of the tweets from the bus ride:

*About tweeting a miracle live, ride got caught up, called another, missed train, on bus that gets to ACity WHEN flight LEAVES. Stay tuned
*About #TLM, this bus does NOT go to the airport. “You’ll have to CALL a cab when you get there.” God loves to show off! #TGBTG #raminthebush
*About #TLM, updates, busdriver took my $20, didn’t have change. “I owe you $10.” If you are just tuning in, this is Tweeting Live Miracles.
*About #TLM, called Denny’s cab to meet me at train. Missing the flight affects my connection flight. #TGBTG Oh & guy behind me is an alien.
*About #TLM, “What do you mean the Atlantic City Int’l airport isn’t in Atlantic city??”. I must be on Curb your enthusiasm.
*About #TLM, cabbie says, “Your name George?… She tell u our fares? It’s $27 just to come out here and pick you up… Plus the fare.”
*About the bright side of #TLM, a flight change fee would be $75. This trip TO the airport is ONLY gonna $73. I’ll treat myself to a Mt. Dew.
*About #TLM, I’m at the gate early. $10 bus $73 cab $25 bag fee. Hey I asked Him to get me here. He did. What can I really say?

flightSo I got on the flight, and the story’s over right? Wrong. Oh so wrong. My flight, which was the first of a two leg jaunt to Atlanta, was scheduled to connect in Ft. Lauderdale for a 7:something flight to the A. We landed and I deplaned to go sit in the main concourse and waste a little time before going to my connecting gate. The main concourse had free wireless and a Wendy’s so passing time was as easy as passing gas. About 2 hours into my 3 hour wait, I decided to be cautious and at least locate my boarding pass from the abyss of my many pockets.

This is the moment that would change everything.

My boarding pass said for me to go to gate H1. This alphanumeric combination jolted me, because all of the gates I’d seen were only numeric. So I boarded the in-airport train to go to ticketing to find out where I was supposed to be.

“Sir, your boarding pass says you were to have connected in Ft. Lauderdale. That was the stop after this one.”

Just then the smart ass intercom lady chimes in as if to confirm what was just settling in. I shouldn’t have deplaned. “Welcome to Orlando,” she said. As if that wasn’t enough droves and swarms and hoards of Mickey Mouse wearing high school students rushed by, arms extended taking pictures that would surely be in their facebook photo albums. They knew we were in Orlando.

“Becky who is that Black guy in the background of all your airport pictures looking like he’s going to kill somebody?”

I stood with my mouth open wide enough to fit my connecting flight inside of it. I had been sitting in Orlando for 3 excited hours waiting for my connection to Atlanta. I had BBM’d, texted, emailed, and called all of the Atliens saying I was “Already Home”. I was never more wrong. airport-security

My connection is in Ft. Lauderdale. Correction, was in Ft Lauderdale. I missed it, because I got off in Orlando…where there are no flights to Ft Lauderdale… ever. My options, according to Diego the customer service agent that probably could have benefited from Morehouse’s new dress code, were to rent a car and drive to Ft. Lauderdale (3.5hrs) to catch a 9am flight to Atlanta or just drive all the way to Atlanta (5-6hrs) or purchase another flight. This is after the bus ride from hell to the train and the $73 cab ride from the train to the airport in Atlantic City.

In the 60 minutes that followed I broke..just a little. I am man enough to admit it. I was stranded in Orlando and the 3 people I called that I know live in the city WERE ALL OUT OF TOWN. I considered going back the way I’d come from and skipping the weekend, in fact it was #1 and #2 on my list.

But before I went home, I was going to window shop at every airline in that airport for a new ticket. I owed myself that much. I wasn’t going to let the Devil win…even though he had put in WORK.

I found a flight on Southwest for just under $200. Thank God they don’t charge for bags…oh that’s right, my bag is already checked into my hotel in Atlanta by now. As I write this, the sun is coming up over the Ft. Lauderdale airport and the crick in my neck [from sleeping on the chairs whose armrests’ sole purpose is to keep anybody from laying down comfortably] will probably never go away. In about 3 hours I will board a flight to Atlanta. Let’s pray I make it.

Total cost so far: we pushing $450… for a one way. 2 cars, a cab, a bus, 2 planes, and probably another train.

And that is how I got to Homecoming…I think.

*Oh and when you see me doing Homecoming doing it real GARGANTUAN, get on or get off. It’s like when you see someone catch the ghost at church, you don’t ask them why they are shouting. You just assume that they have been through a lot to get there and tell the choir to keep singin! [plays organ chord].

Black Love V: Intimacy tickets are PRE-SALE ONLY
password: iminblacklove


2 Responses to “How I got to Homecoming…i think.”

  1. 1 @trgriff
    October 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    as me and my SpelHouse co-horts used to say…”The AUC…you gotta want it bad.”

  2. 2 Elle
    November 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Eeehhemmm (one eye-brow cocked up)… Next time youre stranded in Orlando you better act like you know!

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