Airports, Huddle House, and Thoughts Of A Former Life…unedited…

It’s almost dark here.

I’m sitting in the parking lot at the airport in Memphis. Mom’s return home is pending. I’m about an hour early, so I thought I’d write something. This place is super busy, even at 9 p.m. I pulled into a parking spot as close to the entrance as I could.

By the time she disembarks, we get her luggage and make the two-hour drive home, we’ll both be exhausted. I might as well make it as easy on us as I can.

On the way here, I stopped at Huddle House and ordered a Mega Omelet. While I ate, I participated in people watching. People are strange creatures, especially when they’re eating.

Several people were in the restaurant, and all of them seemed angry. My server on the other hand, he was a nice guy. I watched as he rushed around the place, removing plates, bringing coffee, and not once did he not smile.

I tried to deduce whether he was a happy guy all the time, or he was high. I never found out which. He stopped by my booth and said, “Are you ready to order?”

“Yep. I’ll have the Mega Waffle.”

He laughed and responded, “We don’t have a Mega Waffle. We do have a Mega Omelet though.”

“Yep. That’s what I want.”

He brought my drink, and not long after, my food. I ate, paid, and got on the road. It was an interesting experience though. By that, I mean the solo dining experience. As I looked around, I noticed that all the tables in the restaurant are now open.

Life is returning to normal. Some people are still wearing masks, but many aren’t. “Hmm,” I thought to myself, “things have turned around. Time for another pandemic!”

Of course, I didn’t say this aloud, instead, I jotted it down in my notes app. I’m sure I can use it in a piece of writing later. My mind turned to the past, as it often does, and I dug out the only picture of me in my Class A uniform.

I was days away from retiring and this photo is one of five that I have from my time in service. It was a couple of months into my journey through darkness. My unit had a military ball, it was to be my last, and NCOs were expected. I got dressed and went.

During this time, I was miserable, recently divorced, stressed, and unhappy. Furthermore, I was suicidal. I hated myself. That was almost eleven years ago.

But I am living proof that a decade of hard work can pay off. I have focused on healing, on trying to be better than I was the day prior.

I returned to church, renewed my faith, and I have learned to forgive myself. That’s not to say I’ve forgotten what I’ve done in the past, I just made peace with it. After all, I’m only human.

Well, the baggage claim has suddenly filled up with people. Mom should arrive here soon.

Later taters,