Taking Tampa by the Tale – Part I


It started with a massive panic attack, followed by syncope – you know, a fainting spell.  No, not me. 

I was going to Tampa to start my low-residency MFA in creative writing, and my friend and travel wife (we’ll call her “Sandra”)  was coming along to enjoy ten days of rest and relaxation.  But it wasn’t starting out as very restful or relaxed for her.

She began panicking when we got in the security line at the airport and she saw the new 9/11 craziness that now involves a full-body scan and the removal of shoes, belts, coats, and any other potentially scary things we carry, like cell phones, loose change, and car keys. 

Then we got separated at the ID check.  Four lanes open for paper checking, and my line went fast.  Hers went slow.  Too slow. 

I lost track of her, sat down to put my shoes back on, and chatted with the guy next to me who was also putting his shoes back on.  Then I spotted her, waiting to reclaim her stuff, and she seemed a bit off, so I wandered over to help her, and she told me what happened.

She did something – she’s still not sure what – and the security guard began telling her, “To make things easier next time…” and then she pitched forward into the person in front of her in a dead faint.

She woke back up, having wrenched her knee but managed to avoid hurting anyone she crashed into.  The security agent asked if she was okay, and began telling her, “To make things easier next time…”  But she still didn’t focus on what he was saying.

Then it was to the waiting place until we made it to Tampa….

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