George Bush Intercontinental Airport, HOUSTON, 6:24PM, June 29th, 2006.

I skipped a flight an hour ago because I hadn’t yet checked my email.

The mood of the Obrador campaign, today, seems impossible to describe. For the last week, the assumption has been, that we have won. And that the previous few days, still before the election, have been the first days of the regime.

Our regime. “We,” to invoke the world that had been echoing through my mind, in all its strangeness, many days before David brought its significance to our attention here. “We…”

By the time I arrived at Nashville International, Vanessa had sent me her revisions and edits of the first half of Obrador’s Address to the Nation, to be delivered July 3rd. I added and edited at the gate, and on the flight to Houston. I emailed Vanessa my edits as soon as I was online at IAH, and ran to the gate for the next available flight to Mexico City.

I opened my laptop, and the internet didn’t work by that gate. I listed myself for the flight, and then ran down the concourse trying to find a working WiFi connection. After agonizing minutes of fiddling, it still wouldn’t work. My laptop, “Sally,” as Vanessa named her, was almost out of power. There was no way I was going to get on a flight at this point.

The following direct flight to MEX was overbooked, and also leaving from the E concourse. So I ran back to the B concourse, where I had arrived. There was a connection through McAllen, and I had a seat reserved on it. And the wireless Internet worked over there.

If you had asked me a week ago, I would have had no idea that I would be doing this. If you had asked anyone here, what they expected, I doubt they could have given you an idea of this. Is the culmination of our last five years, or the beginning of the journey?

Can “we” have won? Am I a part of this “we?” What is my part?

I plugged in, got online, downloaded Vanessa’s version of the second half of the Address, and chatted with her about the revisions and our schedule. Her office was overwhelmed with calls– I had been unable to get an answer when I called from the tarmac– and she, as well as the secretary, was answering the phone while making edits, and plans for the future. I unplugged, got some food, ran to the gate and plugged back in (sitting on the floor in the corridor, as IAH has no plugs near its seats). I couldn’t get any edits done in this mess. I couldn’t think. Sally didn’t have enough power for the flight.

I put Sally on standby, began to assess the passengers, and waited until the final boarding call, hoping to recharge the laptop as much as possible, and board at the final minute. As the gate agent scanned my boarding pass, she said “we have a problem. I don’t have a seat for you, sweety. Come over here and I’ll see what we can do.”

Thank goodness, this was not the first time I’ve boarded a flight because someone spent two minutes too long browsing in the Duty Free shop.

to be continued…

Print  •  Email