Installment 33 boards a different mode of transportation than usual. Yi-Wen Huang’s unlucky passenger shifts from an initial sense of comfort, to the disorienting forces of turbulence, lost luggage, and lost vision. Just as things can’t get much worse, airports reveal the kindness of strangers–the sacrifices that people in transit make for those they will never see again.   

***

Lost and Found

On the plane from Toronto Canada to Copenhagen Denmark
You sat next to me
Luckily no one sat between us
You looked so familiar
Asian and White
Sitting comfortably with both legs up on the seat
Big pink bag, you put everything in there
Let’s charge our Samsung Galaxies
Lost suitcase for the first time ever
in Canada for two days due to clerks in Houston International Airport,
horrible service

Stuck
No clean underwear
Wearing the same panties and t-shirt for two days
I took out my contact lenses counting time?
No time to even take a nap after arriving, presenting my scholarly paper
The contact lens solution
Contact lenses in the tiny plastic white and green brand new case on the left handle of the seat near the window

The plane shook
Where are my contact lenses?
Searching on the floor
Combing the floor and the seat
It should be right on the side against the wall
You turned on the flashlight on your Samsung Galaxy
There was a medium size hole on the floor against the plastic wall
You pushed the wall hard

I pushed the button calling the flight attendant
She arrived, tore the seat apart, took out the seat cushion
Still nothing
I told her there was a hole on the floor
She came back told me that she contacted the ground workers in the airport
Once we arrive, they will come in to find my contact lenses
The worst case scenario in my mind is that I will have to wear the same t-shirt, panty, and sucks for 5 days and
No contact lenses
Only glasses

Dizzy
I couldn’t fall asleep
Arrived in Copenhagen
All the passengers left, only me and the crew

The Caucasian ground worker with a big burly wide arm came in,
lied on the floor looking for my contact lenses
Even the pilot was talking to me
because he knew what happened

Inside the airport outside of the airplane the flight attendant told me that Sara will help me find my contact lenses
a line of passengers was waiting to get on the plane
Sara told me I just needed to wait for about 10 minutes
The big silver metal door opened

Sara came out with a scratchy arm told me that the guy’s arm was scratchy bloody trying to put his huge arm inside the hole to find my contacts

The metal door opened again
She came out asking if this was my watch
The metal silver door opened again
Sara came out with my contact lens case
Felt this is a dream: Lost and found!

 

 

Dr. Yi-Wen Huang is from Taiwan and an Associate Professor of English and Linguistics at UNM-Gallup.  She lived and attended universities in Long Island, NY and Pittsburgh, PA.  Her research focuses on language and affect.  Her hobbies include zumba, winter hiking, spinning, thrift shopping, edm, and traveling as a foodie and tea aficionado.