Sunday, April 25, 2010

Waiting to get home

Text message from wife:

"have a good flight we love you miss u see ya soon you are one more city till home"


That last part hit me. "One more city till home." I knew that only Baltimore stood between me and a return to my own place, but it really sunk in when that little note popped into my cell phone. I had been on the road for almost two months. And I was almost home.

I slid my phone shut and hopped out of the taxi, handing the driver his tip as he placed my bags on the curb. I was heading into the airport in the evening -- something I don't do often. I've learned over the years that the earlier the flight, the better your chances of avoiding delays.

There was one benefit to flying at night, though. When I headed to security, there was no one in line. And, I mean, no one. It was me and the guy sitting at the little podium waiting to analyze every last detail of my passport.

"I get this place all to myself, huh?" I joked.

"Yeah, V.I.P.," he replied with a smile. "It's like you're a rock star or something."

I laughed, even though his comment may have been laced with sarcasm.

I moved along, grabbing my two bins and breezing through the routine. I could go through security blindfolded these days, and you can always tell that the guards appreciate someone who knows what they heck they're doing.

Everything about this trip to the airport was turning out to be a bit mundane. I ran into a fellow media member at the gate, grabbed a quick bite to eat and a coffee and took my seat. I glanced to my right and the other reporter I knew was watching a bootleg copy of a movie on his laptop. I leaned to see what it was.

"What is that? Some rom-com?" I asked with a smirk.

"Yeah, Valentines Day," he replied.
"Really? Of all the movies out there, that's the one you decide is worth hunting for a bootleg?"

"Shut up. It's funny."

I got out my phone.

"I'm tweeting this," I said.

He suddenly looked embarrassed and started to say something.
"I'm joking," I said, cutting him off.

We both sat there, doing what we reporters are trained to do: wait.

Every year, I am assigned an intern to help out during home games. One of the first things I tell them is they will quickly learn that a lot of our job consists of waiting. And, in time, they will learn how to wait. We wait for players. We wait for calls to be returned. We wait for planes and trains and taxis. We wait for our rooms to be ready (unless you're Platinum. Then other people wait -- not you).

We happened to be sitting in the last row of chairs, right next to a line of pay phones. "Hey, I left my cell phone back home on the counter," a man said into one the phones. He leaned against a glass wall, one hand on his head, looking completely frustrated. "Yeah, I don't know their numbers. They're all in my phone. I just need you to look up his number for me.

Silence while he listened.
"Right. OK. I'll call you back in 10 minutes. I'm sorry about this."

He hung up, let out a sigh and went and sat down two rows down from us.

I told my friend I was going to get a coffee and got up from my seat. As I headed down the aisle, I stopped by the man who was just on the pay phone.


He looked up, surprised.

"I couldn't help by overhear you on the phone. Do you want to use my cell for a few minutes?"

He kept a stunned expression and stuttered a little and pieced together. "Uh, yeah. Really?"

"Sure. I'm just going to go get a coffee. I'll be back in a few. You can look up whatever you need to and make some calls. No big deal."

"Oh, man. You have no idea how much this helps," he said.

I came back a few minutes later and he handed me my phone.
"Thanks again. Really. Thanks so much," he said.

"Just doing what I'd want someone to do for me."

After all, I was in a great mood.

One city until I was home.


  1. your an angel, need more folks like you

  2. Loving the missives. Please tell me the newly minted MLB non-baseball-related policy won't affect this gem of a blog...