Where was I?
I was telling you about our first-ever flight out of Isla Grande Airport.
I must say the day got off to an unusually smooth start. Our flight from D.C. to San Juan was almost on time, give or take a couple of hours. But who’s counting?
And it was populated by fewer screeching toddlers than usual.
Plus, no one in our immediate vicinity appeared to be afflicted by the plague.
Or even a cold.
Clearly the gods were with us.
Our run of good luck continued in San Juan. The weather was so perfect it was almost a cliché—azure skies punctuated by the occasional puffy cloud, a light breeze, 80 degrees…
…and our taxi driver greeted us with such unusual courtesy we couldn’t help wondering if he had mistaken us for someone important.
Admittedly, the actual taxi ride from San Juan International to Isla Grande was a trifle hair-raising, but after we had peeled our nerve-endings from the interior of the van and administered a few vertebral self-adjustments we were almost as good as new.
Isla Grande airport reminds me of the past—though not necessarily in a good way. Instead of evoking gauzy images of bygone elegance, it lands you with a huge splat into the middle of the inelegant seventies, when fiberglass suspended ceilings were all the rage and red plastic chairs ruled the land. Throw in a dollop of chalky white paint and a shifty-eyed photo-portrait of a Puerto Rican military hero and you’ve pretty much got the idea.
Once we’d checked in I suggested we grab a drink before our flight.
“A drink?” Michael all but sneered. “In this joint?”
There are those who might have been put off by his tone but I’m not so easily deterred, particularly where alcohol is concerned.
“There’s a little snack bar over there,” I said hopefully.
“Good luck,” he countered.
But just as I made a beeline for the snack bar’s entrance the proprietor sauntered out with a spiteful little flourish and locked the door. With a padlock. I’m not kidding.
Then he scuttled away, leaving us dry and not at all high.
With the specter of sobriety rearing its ugly head, we broke out our Kindles and attempted to distract ourselves for the next hour or so with Literature instead of Liquor.
But as we began to immerse ourselves in our respective reading material we couldn’t help noticing that it was beginning to get dark outside. What had happened to our perfect day?
A quick glance through the smudged airport window told the story.
A big one.