Thursday, March 24, 2005

Airport goodbyes

You should see the bags under my eyes this morning.

Well, no -- you shouldn't. This is one of the myriad reasons why I have a blog instead of a morning TV show. Or any TV show. It's not a good hair day and I'm not wearing even a dab of lip gloss and when I slipped my shoes off just now I realized that I'm wearing black, patterned socks that don't match.

My excuse is that last night I went to bed at 12:30, then popped up again at 4:00 to drive Number One Son to the airport.

After more than a year, I've trained myself not to go all teary-eyed when he shoulders that bag and walks away from me, but I still don't like it much. Let's just say I was bummed, driving home alone in the dark on the deserted freeway, so I slipped The Killers into my CD player and cranked up the volume until my ears hurt.

By the time most of you read this, my son will be back in his downtown office, slurping coffee as he stares bleary-eyed down at the Chicago river. Somebody will see him and think, Tristan looks exhausted. He leads such a busy, exciting life. And later this morning I will drag myself to the post office, where I'll be spotted by a friend who will greet me warmly and think, Brenda looks exhausted. Poor old dear.

That's the difference between 22 and (almost) 49. He looks tired and interesting; I look tired and old. But, hey -- I'm still a little bit interesting. At least the kid working the drive-through window where I got coffee at 5:30 this morning thinks so. As I handed him my money and turned down the volume on The Killers, who were rocking out (for the third time) with "Jenny was a Friend of Mine", the kid (who looked about the same age as the one I had just dropped off) said, "Great song. Is that the CD?"

"Yes. I just picked it up last week. I love this track."

"Oh, yeah. 'Jenny.' I like that one, too." His head bobbed agreeably and his straight, bleached-blonde bangs fell into his bottomless brown eyes in a way I'm sure any college girl would have appreciated, then he used a trendy expression that contained a word beginning with the sixth letter of the English alphabet, which told me his supervisor wasn't within earshot. But he meant no harm; he was grinning at me and I knew that what he was actually saying was, "Good for you, lady. You're really cool for an Old Person."

Yeah, I'm cool. But I'm still depressed this morning.

Number Two Son, a high school senior, is never going to be allowed to leave home. I just hate these airport goodbyes.


tristan coulter said...

Okay, I finally made it to work. There was heavy fog in Chicago, so the plane had to circle for almost two hours before we could land. I was able to catch up on some sleep, though.

Thanks for waking up early!

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a safe trip Tristan,

Brenda Coulter said...

I'm glad, too.