2022-12-14 - 12:38 p.m.

He kissed me within seconds of my exit from the taxi. I lunged into his arms and wrapped my arms around him and buried my face in his chest. I hadn't known what to expect. We have been talking, almost daily, since June. In all these months we've been very PG (well, except for one incident early on when things turned a little...umm, racy, for a brief second). I didn't know if this trip was going to be two friends having a platonic meeting for the first time or if it was going to be two friends meeting for the first time who would end up spending 45 hours or so being hand in hand. Which is what happened. The only time we were away from one another was for an hour or so the first morning when he went for a predawn stroll without me. I desperately wanted (and still want) to be glued to him and I probably SHOULD have seen the sunrise with him over the river, but I refused to crawl out of the warm bed in the early morning to join him. Which doesn't shock me, it takes me hours to get out of bed every day and our room had a shockingly comfortable bed. But all was good, he came back with coffee and we watched Mexican "horror" movies in bed. It was my favorite part of the trip.

We spent the rest of the time together wandering through New Orleans eating beignets and vegan hot dogs and the best bagel sandwich I've ever had. It was so good that I'm still obsessed, almost two weeks later, with learning to make bagels. We attended a wedding (another story) and stumbled upon parades (another story and my other favorite part of the trip). We also spent a lot of time in bars that had rats peeking out from behind coolers and bartenders who all made me proud. They are my people.

I had a fantastic trip. There isn't much about it that I would change except to make it longer and maybe to have found fried pickles on my birthday. And to have stolen the book from the shelf in the kitchen of the place we stayed. He was very interested in it and I wish he had time to read it while we were there but, gosh, we had things to see and parades to attend and hands to hold and, yeah. I thought it would be a very nice Christmas gift to get him. So, when I got home, the first thing I did was send an email to the place to ask if they would sell me the book. No response. Then I called them. I've emailed or called almost daily since we returned and no response. So I wish we would have just stolen it then and there. I've done my due diligence to procure it honestly. Now we're going to have to go back and steal it. Darn it. (oh my god I can't wait!)

Anyway, my trip THERE was something else I wouldn't change even if it was rather tumultuous and I cried for a lot of the travel day.

I was SUPPOSED to have met him at his gate when he arrived in NOLA from San Antonio. I had scheduled my flight so I would arrive from Detroit an hour before him and then we would have a big rom-com meeting as he was getting off the airplane. I was going to be pretty and put together and I had a little sign with his name on it to hold up. I worked the night before, I got home around 11pm had to be up at 3:30am so I got some fitful hours of sleep in and woke up and got the cats situated for a few days of cat sitter and tended to last minute things and took a bath and did my hair and ate an egg sandwich and got in my car and left only 20 minutes later than I had wanted to. But the drive to the airport was a breeze for once so the 20 minutes didn't matter. And I was able to park right in front of the elevator in the easiest spot to get in and out of the airport. And security was moving along and except for my baggy of sugar* that had to be examined with swabs and all sorts of things, I got through quickly, grabbed a coffee and sat down at my gate two hours early. I fucking knew something was going to go wrong. I wore my t-shirt that says "best day ever!". And it WAS turning out to be the best day. I even had an egg sandwich for the love of god. I know to get nervous when things are going right. I know this. Anyway, nine am was creeping up and I hadn't seen any sort of movement at my gate and we were supposed to depart at 9:30. I checked my ticket on line again and it still had all the same boarding info. But something was wrong. So I went to someone and asked and she said, "oh, hon, that flight was canceled." And I just stared at her. Anyway, long story short about this part of it...I quickly became a frazzled mess. My saint of an aunt stepped in and got me arranged to get to New Orleans, eight hours late, but there. Let me tell you about Whisper frazzle mode. I can go from Princess to Pigpen in less than two seconds. I was very put together and organized and than, bam. I'm sobbing next to a garbage can with my hair all over the place, my luggage falling apart, one shoe is off and I'm spilling coffee all down the front of me. But I had a flight. And I got there and back. The flight and the intervening time between my cancellation and arrival at kisses is another whole story. Which must be told because it was all as perfect as the rest of the trip. But I'll save all that for next time.

*I travel most places, even Kalamazoo, with a baggy of sugar. You guys, my hands are a wreck from my profession. I have to exfoliate an exponential amount of times a day to keep up any modicum of delicate lady hands. Sugar is the easiest and cheapest way to do that.


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