Along with lovers, muggers, and thieves…

When we touched down in Boston, I was thrilled to be back, but things started rolling downhill as soon as I stepped off the plane. When I made it to baggage claim, I called Rhéaume to find out the score — he informed me that the Sox had dropped another game to the Cubbies. I was disappointed but not deflated: there was another game, one I’d actually get to watch, and I was still feeling good about being home.
The buzzer sounded, the baggage carousel started turning, the bags snaked around, people departed with their luggage; the carousel stopped. A man with a clipboard approached.
“If your baggage was not on the carousel, please step over here,” he called. Those of us remaining — myself and a handful of others, including two families — obliged, knowing exactly what this meant.
“A cart full of baggage was separated from the rest in Milwaukee.” Huge collective groan from my compatriots — as if they hadn’t expected as much. “Your bags will be arriving on the next flight in from Milwaukee, which isn’t until tomorrow.” Another groan, with a timbre of complaint. “You luggage will be delivered to your doorstep tomorrow. We’ll need you to fill out these forms.”
He passed out a stack of triplicate forms and some ballpoint pens. I filled out the information in very good humor — the poor fellow was meanwhile accosted by the mothers of several families who already had attitudes to spare, with attacks like “Well, do you have a carseat for us?” and “What are we supposed to do?!” This one came up a bunch — “What are we supposed to do?!” — as though the answer were anything apart from “Fill out these forms and suck it up.” I did my best to be super-nice to the guy — it wasn’t his fault at all, and, quite frankly, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. Imagine the scope of the problem: hundreds of thousands of people, and all their bags have to follow them invisibly from city to city. What a logistical nightmare!
The problem I was faced with now had nothing to do with irritation that my bag was a thousand miles away. What was irritating — and somewhat amusing — was that I had asked Scott to meet me at the airport to help me with my bags so that I wouldn’t have to drop $30 on a taxi back to Cambridge, and now that I didn’t need the help, Scott was on his way, but nowhere in sight, and with no way of being reached in transit. All I wanted to do was go home and eat something. But I’d asked Scott to do me a favor, so I hung around the baggage claim area for half an hour, hoping to find him. When he didn’t show, I called Josh, who informed me that Scott should indeed be there by now.
“Can you check the MBTA web site and see if there are any delays?” I asked, on a whim.
Sure enough, there was a medical emergency on the Blue Line at Maverick, and there were delays in both directions.
“Great,” I said. “So I guess I just have to wait around until he gets here.”
“I guess.”
I decided to wait outside in the sweltering heat and meet Scott at the shuttle bus, so that we could immediately reboard and head back to the T. After anouther twenty minutes or so, he made it, looking totally defeated, and we hopped back on the T (Charlie Cards a story for another time) and got picked up at Government Center by Josh, who took us in style to the BBW at North Station, where, over beers and burgers, things began to improve again.
The good news: I may have found a place to live in the fall. I cleaned the bathroom and the hallway. My baggage was delivered intact this evening. I watched Freestyle with Wax and installed my air conditioner and did laundry. Wake finally got a win tonight, and, in fact, was a star player on the mound, at the plate, and on the field.
I’m home.


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