The boss hired another helicopter pilot (finally!) who starts at the end of April. Then we’ll have two weeks for him to fly around with me, getting used to the landing sites we regularly go to. This is kind of superfluous, as I didn’t have anyone holding my hand when the boss and I started flying together. We’d fly up to one of our places, then we’d look down and he’d ask, “Can you land there?” I’d usually shrug and nonchalantly go, “Yeah.” He may have mistaken my indifference for confidence and/or skill. But truly, IT’S A HELICOPTER; as long as there’s enough clearance for the rotor blades and tail boom, I can fit it in there. Granted, some of our sites are butt-clenchingly small, but it is what it is. The problem is that the boss has developed a lot of confidence in me. That trust will not easily be transferred to a new guy. So before I leave, the boss wants me to give him the Bob Barbanes Seal of Approval, for whatever that’s worth.
Life has been pretty strange lately. And busy. Every day there seemed to be something going on. The boss bought a jet to go along with the helicopter, and getting it integrated into our system has been a chore. You’d think that the simple act of adding an aircraft to an existing one-ship flight department would be easy, but it has not been. There have been a million things to do (okay, a bunch of things), and up until this point I’ve been pretty much the only one to do them.
* * *
Jacob moved out. You remember Jacob. He was the guy who came up and stayed with me after I broke my arm back in October, and sort of...just...stayed. He was a big help. We take for granted having two usable arms. But you’d be amazed at how inconvenient the loss of use of one arm can be. Try it some time! The first two weeks were particularly bad (mostly because of the associated pain). Simple things like buttoning your pants are impossible. Not so bad if you wear pajamas all the time. Not so good if you’re actually expected to keep going on with your life and…you know…do your job. Yeah, I probably should’ve taken some time off. Unfortunately, I don’t have a boss like that. Which is pretty much why I’m leaving the job, to be honest. I’ll tell you about that after I’m not an employee anymore.
Anyway, Jacob enrolled in a school up in Birmingham, Alabama, and found an apartment-share there. With only a motorcycle for transportation, he loaded up most of his worldly belongings and hit the road at the beginning of April. Here’s how it looked. I’m surprised the police didn’t stop him along the way.
Luckily, all the ropes and bungees held and Jacob made it up to Birmingham without incident.
* * *
Then my friend Mikey left to take a flying job up in the Great Northwest. We’d become kind of close, so it was hard saying good-bye to him. My friends are all I’ve got down here, since most of my family is up in New York. (I mean, I know I’ll see Jacob again; he only lives a few hours up the road.) After two weeks Mikey came back, but within a week he’d changed his mind one more time and decided to leave again. And that’s where we’re at right now. He’s sort of in-between, torn between staying and going. And yes, there’s a woman involved, and that complicates matters as you might expect. But mostly it’s his indecisiveness and a reluctance to commit to anything that’s messing him up.
* * *
Me? Although I’ve been saying all along that I will not leave Pensacola, it now looks like I may be taking a part-time flying job for the summer in town in another part of the country. It’s not something that I would normally consider, but I opened my big yap to the wrong person and said it’s something I “might” be interested in. One thing lead to another, wheels were set in motion, a resume was sent. I don’t want to jinx things, so I won’t say more about it. I might get the gig, might not. But if I do and if I’m lucky, the job may entail very little actual flying, which at this stage of the game would be fine by me.
One thing I've learned in my 55 years on this planet is that you cannot expect tomorrow to be exactly like today. It might be, but there is an equal or greater possibility that tomorrow will be a LOT different. It's best to be prepared for the inevitable change.