This morning, after a night of packing and worrying about packing, we had our last doughnuts at Top Pot and took a car to Sea Tac. Foremanwife and Foremanbaby were on the 12:30 to Vancouver, while my flight to Hong Kong wasn’t for two more hours.
We breezed through security; my Gold status, or the baby strapped to my wife, provided a free pass to the front of the Premium line, a boon after having to pay $100 in excess and overweight baggage fees, and then we had a slightly maudlin hour to hie around the terminal before they boarded.
My camera battery expired about five minutes before they left me, as if I’d charged it to perfection. We got a last photo with my wife’s camera, and then onto the plane they went.
I wanted to watch them go, then realized I was looking out the wrong window, so I scampered to the other side in time to see them walk across the tarmac to the plane. (The Vancouver flight is on a little turboprop that you clamber up into, rather than entering via the air bridge. My wife waved at something; only later did I realize I was invisible behind tinted glass.
For a time, the plane sat there, then was pushed out onto the apron. I waited and watched it taxi away behind a building, and then a few minutes later I saw it soar up and away toward Canada, until it was just a speck, a mote of dust, a shimmer of sunlight on its wings, and then invisible.
And then I remembered I didn’t know where my flight socks were.
So now I’m staring down the barrel of more than seventy days away from my wife and child, plus the ghastliness of the summer smog in Singapore. It’s going to be hard, even if I don’t spend my days eating crisps and watching tv. Still, time flies, and we have Skype, and hopefully they won’t forget me by the time we get to New York.
And so now I wait.