Adonis Diaries

First time that I searched for my luggage.

Posted on: June 19, 2016

First time that I searched for my luggage

Numb at the Magnitude of the Unknown. Part 2

It was the first time that I searched for my luggage

As I landed in Oklahoma City in 1975.

By the time I learned where to fetch my luggage

I realized that my suitcase was made of carton:

All beat up, twisted, torn, tattered,

And barely holding what it was carrying.

 

It was a burden suitcase and a sore to the eyes.

It was a burden to my depleted spirit.

It was after one o’clock in the morning, and the airport was empty and quiet.

 

I must have been sitting there for a while:

A black airport agent smiled to me and softly addressed me.

It was apparent that I was a lost person.

No, I do not expect anyone to meet me.

No, I have no idea where I am and where to go.

 

The compassionate black man suggested:

“Son, the best is to have a good night sleeps at a nearby hotel, most probably the Holiday Inn”.

It was my first night at a hotel and it cost me seventeen dollars, a fortune.

 

Next, I experienced an Oklahoma summer morning, humid and hot.

Next, I experienced the wilderness and empty spaces.

For ten dollars, a taxi dropped me at a dorm for students,

In the university town of Norman, thirty miles south of the Capital.

I was to pay more than double that amount, ten years later,

For my second trip to Oklahoma, and at exactly the same conditions of loneliness,

Save that I should have been ten years wiser.

 

Another six dollars per night at the students’ dorm.

I rented a room at a lady’s house near the University of Oklahoma.

She was in her fifties, tall, slim and tough of character.

 

Hussein, my English classmate from Jordan shared another room.

Hussein was to move to San Antonio, in Texas, for graduate studies in Economics.

He agreed to welcome me at Christmas time,

For a couple of days at his university dorm.

 

It was to be my first experience with the Amtrak train, the slowest transportation ever:

The trip lasted seventeen hours and rattled me to Houston,

Through a convoluted schedule, before backtracking a little west to San Antonio.

 

It would be my last train experience, so far.

A Syrian student was the third leg in the house at the middle-aged lady.

He had blue and piercing eyes and was majoring in Chemistry.

I was told that he was a rigid devote Muslim:

He used to kneel in class, at exam time, and pray turning toward Mecca.

He married the old lady shortly after.

The one time I saw the lady, a year later, she was wearing the veil.

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