Michaela Merz

In 20 minutes to the airport and return

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My father had come to visit me. A gentleman over the age of 70 without any knowledge of foreign languages, not really used to fly. Instead a true gentleman, one of the kind which is in danger of extinction. He keeps the door open so that a woman can enter, he holds a woman’s coat for her to put on and he carries bags, the suitcase, and the shopping bags, as representative of the strong sex. I appreciate and enjoy it very much. On the other hand he cannot cook anything apart from tea and coffee and I think that he never ever in his life washed clothes.

 

With his increasing age and the relating complaints of old age certain things, which went without saying before, become a burden and are now associated with pain, such as carrying heavy things. I would have loved to talk him out of doing it, that I don’t expect him to carry my bags, even though I appreciate it very much. Simple endeavour, very hard to implement because he refuses to accept his new age limit and the resulting restrictions. Thus I work with tricks, which he sees through but tolerates silently.

 

When I wanted to drive him to the airport after one week stay, I suggested putting the bag into the elevator instead of carrying it down the stairs. I put his bag into the elevator and we walked down the stairs to the car. We wanted to be at the airport in time so that he has enough time to orientate at this unknown place, to find everything and to depart without hectic. I parked the car in the parking lot, opened the trunk and was astonished because it was empty. We both had not thought of the bag and had forgotten it in the elevator. It was 16.20 and his boarding was at 17.10. I checked him in and showed him where to go and found him a place outside the departures building. We agreed that if I did not return until 16.50 with the bag, he should go to the airplane. I kissed him and set out for driving back at high speed.

 

It was 16.29 when I paid the parking ticket. I thought it impossible to drive back to our place in 10 minutes and to return in 10 minutes but I went. Finally I had promised him to do it without breaking any traffic rules. With every kilometre and with every minute approaching my spirit of competition increased parallel to my adrenalin level. I was very lucky and was accompanied by a wave of green at the traffic lights. I was home at 16.38 and again on my way back to the airport with the bag at 16.39. Now the adrenalin level increased to unprecedented heights. It was about more than just returning a bag with worn pyjamas and presents in time but it was like an exam, whether my dad and I would be able to correct the situation which we had messed up together. At 16.49 I was with the car at the departure ramp and saw my dad but he did not see me. There was no place to park nearby. I stopped the car, took the bag, and ran to my father. He was very calm and looked at me as if it were a matter of course that I would arrive in time.

“Do you think that I can still check in the bag?” he asked with a smile? And then he said – “I for sure would have waited another 5 minutes, if you had been late”. I kissed him and he went.

 

I went home, with an adrenalin level threatening to break through the car roof. After 15 minutes I was home. I changed and chose the steepest hill in the surroundings. I did not run. The adrenalin took me up on its wings and I am sure that I broke all my speed records in running. After one hour my adrenalin level was back to normal. When I returned home I found a text message from my father – I am sitting in the airplane. Thanks for the bag. I knew you would manage.

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