November 2, 2012 – Last Day in Salem

Oh dear, this one is hard to write.  This trip has kicked my butt every since I got here.  Unrest till the bitter end.  It only lets up when I stepped on the airplane to leave.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.  When I woke up, the fact that I am leaving hit me.  No amount of creative financing on my part will let me stay at least one more day.  I’m doomed.  So I commence packing.  OMG, I have a lot more than I started with!  So I sit on the floor with a pile of everything that is mine surrounding me and my suitcase.  This is an activity that I do not relish!  Somehow, with great concentration and effort, I get everything in.  I even loaded up my computer/camera bag with as much as I could!

Okay, good.  There it is … and as I turn around, I see my new perfume (in purple tissue paper) (my winnings for the Salem photo contest I might add) sitting there on the nightstand.  parfumOh well, I’ll just put it in my purse.  I want to use it after I shower anyway.  I leave the rest of my Hurricane Sandy supplies for the maids.

So I shower, spritz and dress and make my bumbling way down to the front desk to pay.  Turns out … remember when I told them NOT to charge it to the Credit Card on file (which belonged to my good friend)?  “Charge it to my Debit Card, pweeze!”  So they give me a ridiculously low bill to pay.  I look up confused expecting the bill to be much higher.  And the lady says, “Oh, when you checked out Sunday (to go to the airport), we charged the bill to the Credit Card on file.  When you returned that same day and checked back in, well, we opened it again with the same Credit Card (smiling).”  So there it is.  They charged the WHOLE BILL to my friend’s Credit Card!  That is not what I wanted to happen!  I promised my friend that that would not happen!  But there it is.  Another dark cloud over this trip.

So my ride arrives and believe it or not, the ride was uneventful all the way to the airport!  I can’t believe it!  Hoping that I will end this trip on a peaceful note, I go into the airport.  Hmmm, line’s not too long, not like the other day at least.  I check in, pay my baggage check fee (highway robbery) and head on over to Security.

I begin to move through Security  but as I get my computer bag and purse and shoes up on the conveyor, I hear the guard say, “No liquids over 3 ounces.  No liquids over 3 ounces.”  I stop in my tracks and think, “My perfume?”  I reach into my purse to look at my perfume.  It’s 4 ounces.  I say to the lady, “But my perfume is 4 ounces.”  She coldly replies, “Sorry ma’am, you will have to throw it away.”  I stare at her all wide-eyed with disbelief.  “But I can’t throw it away.”  “You can’t take anything over 3 ounces aboard the plane, ma’am, now move along,” she retorts.  I think she is enjoying this.  I again try, “But I can’t believe you won’t let me.  It’s just an ounce for cripes sake.”  She offers, “Do you have a friend here that can come get it?”  “No, no friends, here or anywhere for that matter.”  “Well, you can go back and check it,” she tries.  I look down at my perfume in my hands as she interjects, “Ma’am, you will have to move along.  You are holding up the line.”  By this time, I’m in tears and all of these people in line are watching …. even enjoying … the whole fucking ordeal.  I look at the guard while holding my perfume as she says once again, “The trash can is right there.”  I turn and look and with my heart completely broken, I walk over to the trash can and drop my perfume in purple tissue paper, my winnings from the Salem photo contest, into the trash can.  That is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  Those fucking certificates laid around my room for fucking 2 years!  For 2 years I had to keep tabs on those certificates so I would be sure not to lose them.  I so looked forward to coming to Salem to spend them.  And now this.  If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would end up having to throw my winnings away, I would have been shocked and dismayed.

So I move on enduring the rest of the hoops that Security makes you jump through.  I then sit down to put on my shoes and arrange my bag.  I am really trying not to cry.  I see tears dropping on my shoes as I put them on.  I am so damn mad.  I haven’t been this mad in a very long time.  And then, as I sit there fussing with this and that all the while seeing my tears drop on my shoes and bag, I hear the Security lady saying something over my head, “I’m really sorry about that.”  I don’t even look up.  I don’t want her to see I’m crying and wishing more than anything to close my hands around her throat and …. she moves on.  “Good decision because you got one pissed off bitch here entertaining the idea of your demise.”  Somehow an apology doesn’t make it better.

I understand it was my fault out of my own ignorance.  This is one of the downfalls of traveling alone.  There is no one there to watch over you and tell you your mistakes.  I did know there was a restriction on liquids but it had completely slipped my mind.  Well, I guess someone out there got a nice bottle of perfume wrapped in purple tissue paper.  You can’t tell me that they don’t go through those trash cans and pull out the good stuff.  Yup, someone out there got my winnings for the Salem photo contest.  I got nothing.

Now as I move on to find somewhere to sit, I am inconsolable.  I sit there and cry in front of God and everybody right there in the Boston airport.  I don’t care who sees me cry.  I just cry.  My heart is broken.  That photo contest was the one thing I did good in my life.  It wasn’t first place because that’s the story of my life but it was a good 2nd place out of about 1,000 photographers.  And the postcard … the postcard for God’s sake!  All gone and I notice this one lady across the way really watching me intently.  I met her eyes 2 or 3 times and I’m thinking that maybe she will come over and comfort me is some way.  But no, that’s ridiculous to think, she just sits there and stares at me.

As I cry, I decide to call Jason.  I am completely shattered and my voice is broken as I cry.  When I hear his voice, I cry even harder.  Do you do that?  Well, I do.  It’s hard to speak.  He immediately freaks upon hearing me.  He thinks something horrific happened to me … and something did!  But when I tell him I had to throw my perfume away at Security, I can hear the relief in his voice and he laughs incredulously and says, “Your perfume?  This is about your perfume?”  I can barely talk but I try to explain it to him.  It’s the principle of the matter.  The perfume was the winnings from something I was very proud of myself for – the Salem photo contest!  So Jason says, “Okay, I’ll buy you another one.”  And somehow that makes me feel a bit better.  I tell him, “No, I’ll buy it.”  I realize I’ll have to live with yet another disaster on this trip for the rest of my life.

Finally, it is time to board the airplane.  As I enter the jet-way, I feel relief and I’m glad to be out of there.  No tearing myself away now.  I can’t get away fast enough!  I count every minute of that flight and I am the first to stand up when the airplane stops.  Get me the fuck out of here!

As I sit and wait for my ride home from the airport, I go over the trip in my mind.  I see that I never should have gone on this trip.  I should have stayed home.  I realize that all of it was my fault.  The whole trip was my failure to know all the things that I should and to prepare and use good judgment.  Really?  Me?  Ha!

Love you all,

Janet

Afterthoughts – Strange thing this.  My very first day in Salem 2009 concerned an experience with fragrance and the very last chapter on the last day I stayed in Salem yet again concerned my experience with fragrance.  Don’t know if this really means a thing or is some weird cycle in my life.  Oh well, I guess I’ll know after I die.  

And they quit making that particular perfume, I can’t find it anywhere now. It figures…..

See you later, spookies!

 

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