Snowbird

Spread your tiny wings and fly away

I catnapped on the flight after taking some more video for tik toks to be made later once I landed. I knew I wouldn’t have any cel service while in the air, and I was tired. I couldn’t sleep on the puddlejumper because I was nervous, scared, excited, and so very happy that I was free.

My seat mate was the other gimpy person on the flight. She and I had met at the gate and chatted up while we waited and, when her row was too full and mine was empty, I suggested to the stewardess that she should join me. So she did. We spent the time I was awake chatting and more, and I loaned her my backup battery for her iphone.

I still haven’t heard if she made it to her destination safely.

I rested in fits and starts. I looked out the tiny window and watched the landscape go by. At one point, I woke up enough to see the edge of the Grand Canyon go by.

I catnapped until the plane turned right. I couldn’t sleep then. We had come down low enough that I had cel service and Black Ort and I started to text each other again.

We didn’t have to circle the airport to land. We came in on the first approach and the landing was perfect. The pilot and his crew did a marvelous job, including the stewardesses letting me have half a can of pop when my sugar levels dropped after a nap.

When most everyone else got off the flight, I finally was able to get off after thanking the pilot for the smooth flight and landing. I walked up the ramp and waited at the top. Black Ort was texting me the entire time. The concierge service he had paid for so that I didn’t have to walk the length of the airport was not there. I had to stand and wait and my legs began to hurt and I was holding back tears waiting for the wheelchair.

The guy finally showed and we scooted through the airport to the baggage claim. I had already passed through US Customs in Cowtown, so all I had to do was get my bags.

I saw him.

He suddenly jerked upright and, pushing a baggage cart, got me laughing. “You’re here!”

We couldn’t touch.

I was already technically in quarantine and he couldn’t touch me.

I got pushed to the baggage claim and by then, I had to stand again. I got out my cane and stood while the concierge and Black Ort chased down my baggages. “That one. With the stuffie on top. The other two are the same way!” I had chosen not to bring the carryon with me, not with my Cpap being medical equipment and I was already carrying too much. Checked luggage was easier to deal with.

Luggage gotten and I followed Black Ort out of the door of the terminal after he showed the concierge an appreciative gratuity.

I couldn’t touch him while I followed Black Ort around all the parking lots of the airport. It took us twenty minutes to get to his car because of all the crazy construction and more. At one point, he stopped to sit and I did the one thing I had been wanting to do for months.

His smile was infectious. “There she is…” he purred behind his mask. If I had walked through the airport, I would have done it the moment I had seen him. Instead, I took a private moment even though we were in public and gave him a gift, the only gift I could give him. If you know, you know.

Back on my feet, we found his car, and he sat me in the back seat with a bottle of ice water I drank and drank and drank as he drove me to the place I would be staying. For at least an hour, Black Ort performed a series of courier approved type moves keeping both of us safe, even though there was a couple of times that “safe” meant “dodging other vehicles.”

We got to where we were going, and that’s when I helped him unload all the luggage. Once inside, he shooed me into the shower to decontaminate, stripping first in the laundry room, while he decontaminated my luggage.

I showered, came out and found food to eat, while he showered too. I met the cat that I promptly named “Princess” because all cats are princes and princesses and are jelikal cats and her internet name eventually became “Princess Sophia.” She was the softest furred cat I had ever pet and took to me like white on rice.

I sat at his feet and we talked. Then Black Ort grabbed me by my chin, lifted it to his lips and said “the increase risk is negligible. Now you don’t have to hide in that room and we can get to know each other,” and kissed me.

Okay, Black Ort didn’t exactly say that, but I was so flutterpatted by the soft fierceness of his lips, that the exact words are lost in my memory. Black Ort, as a retired medical engineer, had decided that the risks of introducing Covid to him after the flight were the same whether or not I stayed in quarantine. We were going to be sharing the air, and whether we touched or not at that moment was moot.

“Show me your leg,” he said, with a fierce growl, and I moved to lie on my back, putting both of my legs up on his thighs so he could inspect my ulcer I got when a biopsy had gotten infected. The medical people where I lived didn’t want to deal with it and for over a year, I was scared I would loose my leg.

Black Ort ran his hands up and down both of my calves and shins, and murmured words as he found sore spots. He felt the welting puckers of flesh and noted how deeply red and inflamed the leg was. “We can fix that,” Black Ort murmured. He rubbed the muscled of my calves, and kept on speaking soft words of encouragement and love to me, even as Princess Sophia was demanding pets from me. I did my duty to her while she purred and felt him move up my legs to my thighs.

I don’t know exactly what Black Ort did that made me want to surrender to him. In that moment, I did. I became his.

I had come home.

So, little snowbird
Take me with you when you go
To that land of gentle breezes
Where the peaceful waters flow

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