He was getting annoyed, I could tell. His gaze following me across the room as I place the third meal of the night in front of Jacob. Yes third. I may have overdone those prayers in the hospital praying for him to eat. He eats!
But back to the child that never eats, Benno.
I promised him I would be ready by 6:30PM. I made that promise at least a dozen times within only a 4 hour time period as he reminded me over and over and over again. Truly painful. And as promised I am there right at 6:28PM, two minutes early, which I point out to him…only once.
He is giddy with excitement. And he did not joke when he said the VIP experience. There picking us up was a limo, black and decked out with lights. Benno was pickled pink. I can only describe it as a spastic jumping movement, but he did this all over the limo, from seat to seat. Until he settled right where I thought he would, by the door facing forwards. This kid plays it safe.
He was non stop verbiage. While it can be argued that non stop verbiage is his homeostasis, this is that on hyper drive. You can just nod away, he doesn’t really care. He is mainly talking to himself. But I do listen. I hang on every word. I note that we need to remember to go to the counter as the airline is giving away free products. Benno hopes to get a neck pillow. Alrighty. Our ideas of a good time could not be more different, but this is Benno’s trip. I’m just a passenger here for the ride.
I can’t help but notice my son’s apparel. He is in full camo (dark, gray type) and wearing a helmet with a mic and on the back of his helmet he has night vision goggles. I ask him if he really thinks this is an outfit to wear to an airport. He is surprised by the question. What do you mean? What’s wrong with it? I begin to try to hint about looking like a terrorist, but decide best to not go down that route.
Turns out it doesn’t matter, he just keeps talking.
Non stop verbiage.
Spastic bouncing recommences.
We get out and go to check in. Turns out we are too early to check into the flight. Benno has ensured that we are FIRST to get there. I am about to make a comment. “Does this mean I get to sit in the airport longer? Oh yeah. Thanks Benno with my signature cutting enthusiasm.
But I stopped myself as I see we are not alone. Dozens of people are hopping about trying to check in. Some of them just stand there and putting their information into the machine over and over expecting a new outcome. And the people sighting was legit. Vegas buffet had nothing on this smattering of species. My favorite was the guy (I’m assuming as he had chest hair), hopping around in a ballet outfit with a unicorn horn. I now understand Benno’s utter confusion previously. He is dressed just fine. He fits in great and no one seems to care that he looks like he is carrying a weapon.
While I watch, Benno just chips away at that machine and he does manage to check us in within 4 minutes. Not too bad. However, I spot with my watchful eye someone at a kiosk walking away with a neck pillow. I point this out to Benno, who without skipping a beat frantically gets to the kiosk, only 2 people beat us there. Benno is pleased. Not bad. We get to the front of the line and bang neck pillow around our necks.
Benno thanks me. No literally that happened. And I quote: “Good job mom. Look what you found. So glad you’re here.” I wish I could have recorded it. Strange that all it took was a neck pillow. Next time for dinner I may just serve him up a pair of compression socks, which I’m told is also a traveling must. This must be his love language. Noted.
We are now hopping our way in the terminal, Benno frantically looking for our gate. And we get there to see.
Now this is my breaking point.
Benno informs me that “this happens.”
Now I understand this happens, but this entire flight was in Roblox. We were hanging out in a “video game”and my son paid REAL money to go on a flight, VIP style (with a limo). But all of this was from our couch. All not “real” (real is in quotes with real intention…for another time, spending a lot of time thinking about what real is- be curious how you would define it).
And I have spent my last three days pondering on this moment.
I saw the future reality and how in this new reality… our children are building worlds and while you can jump and get to a plane in a 2 minute limo ride, in the end, it’s just as complex and disappointing as the physical one.
Even in the metaverse things will be delayed.
That for things to feel real to humans there has to be “suffering.” There has to be loss. That the games do BETTER (more people buy etc) when it mirrors our own world. That our children are leaving the physical world to create it in a metaverse where they can move faster, but in the end, find things delayed.