Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flying To Friends: A Weekend Of Mohos and Flight Woes

I decided several months ago to book tickets to Salt Lake City for the May Moho Party. And as I landed in Phoenix, AZ after the first leg of my journey, I saw this sight:

I watch the patchwork farms
Slow fade into the ocean's arms
Calm down, release your cares
The stale taste of recycled air

The Postal Service - Recycled Air

It was an epic journey to say the least. When I landed, I was blessed with a visit from Austin. We sat in the classy Phoenix International Airport and discussed the drama and the joy in each others lives. From crazy haters chatting him up on his blog, to the troubles with his boyfriend's coming out to his family, to our perspectives of what it means to be Mormon and gay. A delightful time. My only complaint was that it was too short of a visit. I have a feeling we'll get to cross paths again, though. Before I went back through security, we snapped this pic:

If only I had realized that I'd be in the airport another 3 hours, I would have asked him to stay longer. Or maybe gone somewhere. It went down like this: I went back through security, and headed toward the gate indicated on my boarding pass. When I got there, I found that they'd moved the plane to the gate at THE EXTREME OTHER END OF THE ENTIRE TERMINAL!  I checked the signage and found that my flight was "On Time" and hustled the 2/3rds of a mile or so (thank goodness for moving walkways) to the new gate.  Upon arriving, I settle into the waiting area, only to realize that I've been called to the counter--everyone has been called to the counter--to receive a new boarding pass and a 10 dollar meal voucher, as our flight has been cancelled due to mechanical failure. The next flight wouldn't be leaving until 8:15, which meant that I was now scheduled to arrive in SLC at 11pm. The party would be drawing to a close by the time I arrived. Frustration and anger welled up inside of me. And rather than recap these feelings, I'll merely provide you with this link to the stream of conscience writing that I did after I finally boarded the plan.


Well, I finally arrived and while waiting for Scott to pick me up, I spotted a guy who I thought was gay from when we boarded in Salt Lake, and he and I were alone on the platform waiting together, and I still kick myself for not just starting a conversation.  I need be be less of a coward--why shouldn't I just struck up a conversation with a cute boy, even if he is straight and/or I'll never see him again?  It's practice! Anyway, the party was fantastic.  I met some people for the first time, and some old friends were reunited.  My day had been so sour prior to that party, but when I walked in the door I felt like the Fonz "HEEEEEY!" And was immediately happy.  Special thanks to all those people who waited until I got their before leaving--especially Clint.  His blog was the first one that really spoke to me, and it was so well written, not to mention our common background in media production.  We became fast friends, and I was so happy that he waited for me.  Hugs were administered.  Smiles were shared, and conversation, though painfully brief, was delightful.  Sadly, he left not 10 minutes after my arrival.  I had so many other new friends there though, the sadness didn't hit me until the next morning.
Before I left, I snapped this picture of the greatest couple--our gracious hosts, Scott and Sarah.
The next morning as I watched "Were The World Mine" (excellent film, I'll buy it--I already have the soundtrack) I got a little sad. As I played scrabble with the kids, I felt increasingly depressed. As I drove to the airport with Scott, I questioned him about how he felt watching a movie like that--didn't it make him ill? It made me ill thinking about him--having detrimental side effects to his life no matter what he does. He answered my questions--he's such a wonderful man and Sarah is such a wonderful woman. Their strength makes me feel so inadequate.

I was doing a lousy job of holding by my tears as I wished Scott a goodbye. Hugged once--then twice. Told him how much I loved him and his family. I turned away and walked inside, and started bawling.

I'm sure I was a sight to see. The perky TSA agent who checked my ticket didn't bat an eye, and for that I was grateful. Her concern would have turned my muffled tears into an outright wail. Even now I'm not 100% sure why I cried. I felt so tumultuous inside, I felt despair at leaving such dear friends behind that I'd shared mere minutes with. I felt the weight of decisions not mine to make, and the fear and trepidation of consequences not yet meted out. I cried because I have so much love in my life and my path is so easy. It seems that I must be an incredibly weak soul, for God to provide me with so many blessings and so few trials--knowing just how little I would be able to handle.

I learned that Clint was departing from the same Terminal and Concourse as I, and so I was delighted to find that I got another 40 minutes to hang out with him before going home. He could see my tears and I felt no shame in them... but I think I did a piss-poor job of explaining them. When surrounded by strangers, it's hard to have a conversation about what you're feeling.

I got a picture of my friend before I boarded:

And as I sailed away into the sky, I saw the otherworldly appearance of the great Salt Lake--and the illusion it created that we were already miles above the earth, when we'd actually taken off moments earlier.
Why have I been blessed?
Why do I deserve this?
Who will ever love me?
Will I ever know with a surety that my path is good?

And I closed my eyes and leaned back, and tried to understand.


  1. As I drove away after dropping you off at the airport, it was obvious that our conversation had affected you, and I wished that there was some way to convey to you that I'm ok. :)

    Nobody gets everything they want in life, and really I've got it pretty good, with a loving wife and four amazing kids and a rapidly increasing pool of fabulous friends who enrich my life more than I can express.

    I'm glad to count you as one of those friends, and glad for the (too short) amount of time we were able to spend together.

  2. It was good to meet you...although i'm sad it was only for a few minutes :(

  3. I'm still sad that I missed you :( Please come again.

  4. I'm also sad I didn't get to see you Saturday.

  5. Love ya, Ezra (and hate the photo). :)