So, where were we? I realised my laptop wasn’t in my hand luggage. But like not there at all. All this while stewards were busy doing their useless safety demo as if it will be useful to know where the emergency exit is or how to use a life jacket in case of crash.
Let’s go back to the unfolding of this crazy departure…
7h56: Sorry miss, can I just check my bag, just two seconds 1, thank’s. There we gooooo, I open my luggage, slip my hand inside and notice that…
7h57: that I want my mummy.
7h58: And my daddy too.
7h59: But mainly I want my laptop. That most certainly is somewhere, but not in my luggage. Nor in my pocket. Neither in my hand bag. Neither in my bra. And the plane takes off in three minutes.
8h01: This is a nightmare, I’m going to wake up, there’s no question, I KNOW I took back that fucking laptop after customs check. After putting my shoes back. And getting my hand bag. As well as my cell phone. And my transparent toilet bag. And… Fuck, and nothing, I forgot all about the laptop, now I remember.
8h02: I don’t care I’ll tell my boss, it was stolen from me in the street and that’s it. No witness, foreign country, language barrier, he will understand.
Moreover, it’s the second time in three years that I deplore the loss of a work laptop. The first was REALLY stolen from me but you know how fast a reputation is created.
8h03: Furthermore, my husband will soon be unemployed.
8h04: All those notes taken during the conference are in that vermin of a laptop. Or how to come back without your equipment and no material for a potential article.
Either I find a way to go fetch it or a whole family will discover insecurity.
8h05: I put my nicest smile on my face (= right now the worst grin ever) and explain with a stodgy gibberish (stress doesn’t have a positive effect on the so-called “Read, spoken, written English” you find on my resume) that it is a life or death situation and I MUST go back to the customs check point where I forgot, triple jerk that I am, my laptop.
8h06: the steward warns me that the check point is very very very far from gate E72 (I KNEW this lack of number 3 was a bad sign) and he can’t guaranty the plane will still be there when I come back.
8h08: Just like in a movie, I rush out of the plane and start running like hell. Ok from the outside it most probably is a slow motion movie. But I am running. Which didn’t happen since 1987 more or less.
8h09: I realise during this frantic race that a) Madrid’s airport is as spread as Oregon, b) I’m not 100% sure I know where the check-point is, c) I left the plane without my ID, credit cards, phone BUT with my Carte Vitale. Best case scenario, if I find my laptop, I have twelve minute left on the battery (the cable is in my luggage, that won’t get me too far, why didn’t I forget the cable, instead on the laptop, a mystery of human brain) to send out an international call for help. And then I will need to find a psychiatrist who accepts the Carte Vitale.
8h10: I might spend the rest of my life in the international area of Madrid’s airport. I could become a sort of wild beast, we’ll do reports on that weird woman who holds on to an old laptop without power cable and lives in a trolley.
8h11: I’m half way through and, a priori, only one tenth of my lungs is still working. My tights are at the level of my knees and one of my breasts seems to want to arrive to the check point before me.
8h12: Do we know when the end is near? Cause now I have a sort of intuition that my life is going to pass before my eyes.
8h13: Against all odds, I reach the check-point. In a last rattle, I mumble that I’m here to fetch my computer forgotten a few minutes ago 1. A guy from customs confirms that they’ve got one but he needs to fetch the key of the cupboard where they’ve put it. There he goes, whistling.
“I AM IN A HURRRRRRRY!!!!!!” 1 I shout, staking all, aware that it will either wake him up or convince him I am dangerously mad and thus good for slammer.
8h14: Apparently he chooses option one. He shows me the laptop which is indeed mine. At the same time, there are no other laptops in the cupboard. It confirms that I’m the kind of drag that doesn’t proliferate everywhere. Reassuring for the rest of humankind. Not for me.
8h15: I’m about to start running again – even if right now I’d like to really be in a movie so that we go directly to the following scene where I’m all sweaty, in the plane I managed to catch, next to Georges Clooney who would be in transit between Spain and France and who would fall in love with me and the sweat drops that would drip on my breast because of the chase in the airport. Instead, speedy customs man is blocking my way telling me I need to open and start the laptop and then type my password to make sure its mine.
8h16: What do you get in Spain for murder? No but do I look clever enough to have plotted the whole thing, like I’m going to pretend to run like hell across the airport, bet that a silly goose has forgotten her laptop and pretend it’s mine? No but I mean, WHO COULD HAVE SUCH AN IDEA?
Clearly, it must have already happened, given that the guy is hard-nosed. “You have to write your password” 1.
8h17: I might as well do so, as calmly as possible (=moaning like a three years old and shaking so bad I make a mistake twice). The laptop takes three days to start, I shit on Bill Gate’s face and send him the finger, I’m doomed anyway.
8h18: The laptop has started, happy end, I feel like french kissing the customs guy, but he, who clearly wants me too, yells “Ok GO ! RUN RUN RUN, your plane is leaving!” 1
8h19: Off I go with an extra three kilos, long live IT stock from 1998.
8h20: While I’m trying to move forward with more of a crawling than a run, I get one of those thoughts I have a knack for. Maybe all this is a sign. And I’m rushing to my coffin. Even though in the sky, my guardian angel is desperately waving with his small arms to explain that I shouldn’t board that plane which is more moth-eaten than my brain. It is, if all this is true, the irrefutable proof that I inherited the dumbest guardian angel ever. Because there are other options than almost wearing myself out on a moving walkway at dawn.
8h21: If I go back in this Boeing, I might waste my only chance to be on front page for escaping Air Europa’s most deadly crash. I can picture the titles “She missed the plane because of a laptop forgotten at customs’ check point (what a jerk) and avoid an awful death” and just below “Sometimes intelligence doesn’t pay, that’s the proof”
8h22: Don’t care, between spending the rest of my life in a trolley being the butt of everyone’s jokes or exploding above the Basque country, my choice is made. ETA here I come.
8h23: I propel myself into the plane, out of breath like a tuberculous eighty years old suffering from syphilis, crying emotionally.
8h24: Hardly have I done two steps in the plane, when in the movie with Georges, I would be swamped with applauses and passengers would even carry me from arm to arm with Gloria Gaynor’s screams in the background, instead, 300 pairs of eye looking daggers. I know now what it’s like to be the object of group hatred.
I feel an incredible solidarity with Raymond Domenech.
8h26: I sit down, fasten my seat belt quietly. The plane is about to rush forward on the runway. And, incredible: I’m not scared. Not at all. I simply don’t have the strength.
Edit: Check out the awesome drawing from Penelope on a relatively close subject, it could have perfectly illustrated today’s article if I had been of the kind who doesn’t care for copyrights. She is so talented!
 TN: In English in the original text