Twas Fleeting, part 4

part three 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*

Day two came to a end as we lay down and tried to sleep. Before I laid back into nightmare land I had made the rounds with the interviewers from the tv stations and experienced my fifteen minutes of fame. I even made it to an MSNBC review of the storm which got me all smiling for about three seconds when I heard about it. Then I had flashbacks of the pain and tears and promptly imagined me and Julia Stiles married.

The second night was over and the third day was starting. Mark had lost it from head to toe. Words I can’t write here (or anywhere for that matter) were flying from his mouth. He was having to take walks around the airport in a attempt to calm himself. We had met a few people and watched pretty ladies parade past us. Much of this third day was us smelling like something that had been sleeping under ten feet of the stuff you would find out at the dump marinated in sweat, onions and stale animal crackers.

Translated, we smelled. The bathrooms were no longer of any use. If we could have put our whole naked bodies in the sink or god forbid the toilet and clean off the stuff that now clung to our skin, we would have. Everyone was in a surly mood and simply tired of feeling the way we did. The food was wrecking havoc on my body and we were forced to branch out from Panda Express and Burger King. It didn’t do much good.

They had opened terminals A, B and C to help get the 5,000 or so of us spread out a little bit more than we were. It helped in decreasing the claustrophobic factor but that was only one thing in our teetering on the edge of going crazy balance sheet. Most of said sheet was in the red with little hope for saving grace. Even my eternal patience was wearing down slowly as minutes became hours and the day stumbled along like a drunken sailor with two broken legs.

At some point midday the news of movement hit the fan as people began to line up. I have to give credit where credit is due. Frontier at the airport did the best they could and there was actually one guy who probably drew the short straw that was giving us updates. I had a ticket to leave on the 23rd. Today was the 22nd. I stood in line because I had no idea if we were getting out of the airport that night.

We weren’t. They processed the passengers for that day and people were getting out of the airport. With my confirmed ticket for tomorrow I wasn’t supposed to be in this line. However, I didn’t find that out until much later into the late afternoon. The lines were incredible. They had us lined up into the path to Concourse A. The line was wrapped seven times through the entire passageway. People were stuffed. People were tied. People were trying to laugh. And in that moment I met two guys from Nebraska who managed to give me an extra shot of patience and smiles.

For about four hours we trudged through the line, joked, laughed and even put stuff on the moving walkways to see how far it would go on the hand rail before someone knocked the object over. This game proved fun until we realized we might blow it up if it jammed on something. They were in town for a game or something. They wanted to go home but were high spirits.

Towards the end, they gave up and decided to rent a car to make the journey to Husker Country. I waved goodbye to them and found myself next to a gentleman who was Filipino. I had found another friend. We talked about life there and how he had found himself here in the United States. Eventually I found out I wasn’t supposed to be in the line and made my way back to the home where Mark and I had held court for the last few days. It was December 22nd, 2006. Tomorrow I had a ticket to Phoenix, AZ at 6:00am leaving on a Frontier plane.

When I returned, Mark wasn’t there yet. I waited until he arrived and guessed from his facial expression of rage, anger and generally not the happiest Canadian I had ever seen aura that he wasn’t pleased with the situation. The evening hours were nearly here as the sun was falling. “I can’t stay here anymore!” He kept saying that over and over. I started to feel like it would be nice to get into a shower as well. I was empty on funds and couldn’t swing the bill. He called and found a buddy willing to loan the $80.00 or so it would cost.

All that was left was getting a cab from the airport to the hotel. At this point it was about 10:00pm and the darkness outside blocked the world from us. We felt blocked in as we tried to find a way out.

It would be a full two hours before we managed to find a taxi to get us to comfort. It was the longest two hours of either of our lives.

Part 5 here.

2 Comments so far

  1. anon (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    I appreciate the use of the law and order sound effect, it made the post twice as exciting as it actually reads.

    Dec ’06 storm was a devil – I remember wading knee-deep in snow on 13th avenue struggling to get to work. only to do it all over again at 11am when they declared the day off at work.

  2. Aaron DeLay (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

    Heh, I think that means you like the story…:)

    Hopefully this winter is a little more mild. Knock on wood.

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