I was a nervous wreck. “beware the ides of March” indeed. Everything was ready, I had everything planned, I still had plenty of time to get those last-minute things. 20 was twice 10 and 10 times 2. The journey began on March 20th and would end on August 20. Begin on a new moon and end on a full.
I should have known that the ides of March would get me some how or another, so on 15 March 2010 the phone chimes and a lovely young lady with a British accent greeting me.
“Mr. Fazluddin hello, my name is Stephanie and I’m calling you from British World Airways, how are you Mr. Fazluddin, mmmmm?”
“I’m fine, are you calling to make sure I get on my flight?”
“Oh, Mr. Fazluddin, that’s grand, well yes, I am sort of, but there’s a slight problem you see, have you heard on the news Mr. Fazluddin, have you heard there is a strike?”
I’m somewhat of a social idiot, “No, no – I hadn’t heard of a strike.”
“Well, yes, you see Mr FAZLUDDIN! And because of this, we cannot guarantee that your flight will leave on 20th March.”
“That’s fine, I suppose I can leave a few days later? When’s the next flight?”
“Hello? Have I lost you?”
“No, Mr. Fazl-UUUU-Din, I am here, you see, there’s no guarantee that we will have another flight available till April 20th.”
“Let me get this right, if I miss my flight on the 20th you may not be able to go for a month? Well, I can’t do that, what if I left sooner!”
“Yes, earlier is not a problem Mr. Fazluddin, you see, earlier we can accommodate, we have some openings on the 16th” she actually chortled after this and said, “- could you pack up and be off tomorrow?”
I didn’t know what to say, I thought, just for a brief instant that she would suggest a date based on my convenience and so that must have been the only other date available, I quickly began to assess all the variables I’d need to come together in order for me to make a 24 hour trip deadline. Wow the possibility of me loosing a month on this trip was much more harrowing than squeezing 5 days into 24 hours.
A week into a day… and then it hit me, rational thought came to me, and made me realize I had to think this through, “Have you got anything better?”
I went to the heart of the matter, I hoped saying better would suggest my utter distaste for the absurd suggestion that I, ‘MR. FAZLUDDIN’ should be inconvenienced in such a great way.
The British understand this concept of better.
“Of course, let me check here… how about 18 March, same time in the evening?”
She gave me 2 extra days with almost no effort at all, I bet if I pressed, I could have gotten yet one more day out of her, but this addition of 48 hours was like the expansion of the universe after the big bang, 2 seconds was HUGE back then.
“Perfect, I’ll take it.”
So the Ides of March and I compromised. That’s breaking the pattern for ya. It’s the Ides of March again, one year later. I think back on that day and realize, I’m at another point in my life where I’ve broken ‘the pattern’ and it seems like my universe is expanding again.