‘Twas fleeting.., part 2

Part One Here.

“‘Twas Fleeting” is a look back at December 20th to December 23rd, 2006 in which Denver was hit upside and sideways by one of the worst snow storms in our history here in Colorado. I was stuck in Denver Intl. Airport for the three day event and experienced so many emotions, events and memories that I’ve decided to share them. This is my story. *insert Law and Order Sound Effect Here*

The day was turning into a train wreck before our very eyes as the snow fell from the sky. There was nary a sound outside as the silence of the plane engines echoed across the tarmac. We were still being assailed by the security warnings that were squawking ever five minutes about what the TSA says and the alert level we were at and how we shouldn’t leave our baggage unattended because that would bring about the end of the world.

Believe me, as the night closed in on us at Denver International Airport the end of the world was the least of our worries. As the airport closed along with Pena Blvd and the entire City Of Denver we began to resign ourselves to sitting around and hoping that the storm would break later tonight and we’d get out eventually and see our families and Christmas would go on unstopped by Mother Nature.

Looking back on it, I think Mother Nature and God got into a little spat which led to me nearly missing celebrating the birth of God’s son and causing untold pain, tears and lost memories for thousands more. It’s the only way to explain the events that unfolded over the next three days. That or just say, “Welcome to Colorado” and shrug with a small titter of laughter. That’s usually what I do. After nearly 15 years living it, you start to accept that the weather around this state operates like a Twister wheel on a daily basis.

Wait fifteen minutes and give it a spin.

Alone as I was I knew I needed to make some friends and found myself in a corner of the main terminal on the second level near the counters. I ended up palling with a gentleman who was from Canada but was working in New Orleans in an effort to get people to invest in homes and the community. He was a smart guy. It’s been almost a year and I think I remember his name as Mark.

Food was whatever was open and serving. Airport food isn’t cheap and no matter where you went the fork over percentage was higher than you’d want to but when you have to eat, you do what you can. Panda Express and Burger King became my bread and butter for a short while until I realized the effect the essentials had on my digestive system.

It wasn’t pretty.

I soon resolved myself to eat when I needed and entertain myself with the expensive wireless internet that was amazingly enough still running overhead. It would conk out and cause near panic in all of us later as we tried to find thing to keep us occupied.

It’s hopeless when you’re stuck with upwards of 5,000 people in an airport. It’s just not possible. You run out of Yahoo news stories to read. The computer games you once loved playing in your free time start to get really stale. Real quick. Talking with your newfound friends is great until you run out of things to talk about and are forced to sit against the wall and listen to the drone of the security announcements.

We started arguing with the announcers out loud. It soon became such a strain on Mark that he had to take a walk before his northern tongue went south into florid Texas territory. I did my best to console and keep him stable. After all, we’re surviving here! I need my partner alive, healthy and not climbing the walls talking about “all sitting and no flying make Mark a dull boy” because we all know where that would go and I didn’t want to experience the type of excitement that would bring.

Needless, we made it through the day and were told nothing besides the announcements. As the days would wear on we found the news crews the most informational and helpful in telling us just what was going on outside our depature-less prison. We would later learn paper updates had been handed out to ever body except for us for some reason or another. It gave us a good laugh which was good because by the time that day rolled around I was checking Mark’s sleeping area for a shiv or other weapons. What went on over the next three days became an event I would never forget.

To this day I refuse to fly out of Denver in December. If I have to walk, drive, bike or jump into a supersized howitzer cannon, I will.

Part three continues Monday morning.

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