Misery Takes a Holiday

She checked her things. Everything was in order. She had her ticket, she had her wallet and her passport. She'd turned in all of the work she had due. It was time to go. And yet, she wasn't sure.

You know how it is when your job kind of defines who you are, where it's been so long since you took a vacation that you can't even count the years? You know the guy filling in for you is going to be a total doofus and mess everything up, and your desk is going to be completely rearranged by the time you get back. She knew, anyway, and so she'd found ways to put off taking a vacation. She didn't rest well. There was always work to do.

But there was a seat sale.

She traveled for work quite a bit, and she'd seen a lot of places, but she'd never gone to a resort. There wasn't ever any work for her there. Sure, her co-workers visited there from time to time, and they always had the most amazing stories about what pulled them there, but for whatever reason, there wasn't ever need for her services there. And she wanted to see a resort. One of those all-inclusive jobbies, with people cooking for you, drinks on order, all you can eat, all you can drink. She'd never done all-you-can-eat.

The plane was delayed, of course. This was just the kind of thing that happened when she was there. Delayed, but not cancelled. And of course, they'd told everyone when they were boarded. So they sat on the runway, one hour, two, she lost count. But she didn't care. She was on vacation.

Her cabin-mates weren't so philosophical about it, though. People got uptight, people got angry, people probably left bad reviews online. But for all that, she sat still. She thought about pulling out her book, but that was to pass the time when the plane took off. Instead, she soaked in the anger of the other passengers. She had to deal with that a lot in her job, but now that it wasn't work, she found it almost soothing.

Finally, after some indeterminate amount of time -- indeterminate because she was fairly sure she'd fallen asleep -- the plane was headed down the runway. She pulled out her book, and the flight was passed in relative serenity. Relative because, when she reached the end of the book, where there was a massive plot twist, she cried out the name of the murderer. Several people turned toward her and glared. She had no doubt that she'd just spoiled the book for them, but that was life.

The hotel was characteristically over-booked. She got in, but that was the last room. A half-dozen people in line behind her were denied rooms. Their frustration and anger boiled over, and they were removed by security staff. She was sure they'd find somewhere else to stay, and probably be happier for the respite.

One week, she stayed in the resort. One single week was all it took. Brown guacamole, tortillas gone bad, wine gone to vinegar. Even a series of small fires that happened out of the blue. Not to mention that the entire time she was there, there were shark warnings in the ocean, so nobody could go swimming. Add to that the chlorination issues that left one man with severe burns, and there was no water-play for anyone anywhere. Unless you counted the showers, which worked sometimes, but inevitably blasted hot or cold water intermittently.

By the time Misery ended her vacation, with a plane that limped back home with one dead engine and food poisoning for everyone who chose the beef dinner, she was rested, she was invigourated, and she was ready to get back to work. It was really refreshing to know that, even when she was on vacation, she could make a difference.