I did a writing course years ago and the only thing I can remember from it is that every good story follows the cycle of conflict, crisis and resolution. So, here's my crisis:
Its 3.30am and I am heading off to Vegas for the first time. I don't think I am a Vegas person. I am sure there will be a chorus of disapproval and I am open to persuasion, but really? Vegas? I'm plump, in my 40s, am not a bachelorette or a bridesmaid, don't gamble, don't have a single pair of non-yoga shorts and it cost me about $50 to get a bikini and underarm wax (I know, TMI).
I'm not even convinced I'm really going to get on the plane. I have a ticket, but its not like the old days when you travelled with a leather folder containing tickets in triplicate. My ticket is a crummy printout of a confirmation number with color separation from my old printer. It doesn't feel official. Even the boarding pass lacks the credibility of cardboard. Its like an important receipt that I keep misplacing. I might blow my nose on it by mistake.
I caught the Airporter Express to the aiport. It wasn't very express. They picked me up at 3.30am and after collecting Michael and Richard (I know their full names and home addresses since they were illuminated on the dashboard for the whole trip (beneath mine, creepy) we arrived shortly before 4.30am. Michael and Richard weren't chatty but the driver enjoyed telling me about his lifestyle working the 3am-1pm shift. He likes gardening. He naps when he gets home then stays up till 7.30pm. I imagined stories in which serial killers locate victims by riding the Airporter and remembering...
Michael and Richard huffed quietly in the row behind me.
I spent the trip staring out the window at things, noticing how the darkness makes interiors bright while daylight hides them. The rental car wash depot looked like a machine with its gizzards torn out, pipes and lines bursting bright in the artificial light and a huge plane drifted silently over the interstate to land at Boeing field.
Now its 5am and the concourse coffee places are opening and the noise levels . We board in half an hour. Announcements have started.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our morning service to Las Vegas. The flights is completely full so if you do not need your handluggage during the flight, we are offering courtesy consignment. We guarantee it will be at the baggage claim within twenty minutes of arrival.
The lights are coming on in Hudson News. Out of sight, Bloomberg News is alternating between soothing ads and aggressive market news.
I have yet to find a crisis beyond the fact that I am going to bash the guy sitting next to me if he doesn't stop his ipad chiming belligerently with a noise like a metal spoon hitting glass. CHING!!! CHING!!!
I am going to consign my bag.