My shoulder muscles are no longer working. The ache is the only reminder that I still have shoulder muscles. The burning makes me want to scream and lash out, destroy, seek vengence. My right arm is starting to go numb and it's spreading to the left side as well. I am either having a heart attack or I have a little tired girl perched up on top of my shoulders. The finger in the eyeball I recieve confirms that it is not a heart attack.
I can't stop, must keep moving forward. There is no pain. There is no pain. One foot in front of the other. I am zen, I am the unstopable. There is no pain. There is only the special Princess Lunch to get to. I will get to it. I will get my daughter to it.
Keep moving, no distractions. I see Mickey Mouse posing for pictures on the left. I do not pause to watch. A girl wearing heals and a very low cut shirt crosses my path. I barely glance. She probably wants my phone number and my underwear size. But unless it has a princess dress on and a tiara, I got no time for her. But I do think "Who the hell wears heals to Disneyworld?"
Hossmom is somewhere behind me, at least I think she is. I'm not sure. She has my son, hopefully. Maybe. Probably. And my mother in law is with them. Maybe. Probably not. It does not matter. I must trust her to corral the camp stragglers while Little Hoss and I proceed to the Princess Lunch in Epcot.
There are defining moments in life. This is one of those times. The Princess Lunch at Disney World was planned months in advance. It will have 8 princesses there. They will all say hi to my daughter. She will go crazy. It will be one of her dreams, to meet the princesses that we have read so many stories about. It will define her childhood. It will define me if I can get her there on time so she doesn't miss it.
We miscalculated a bit. We decided to ride one more ride at Animal Kingdom. It may have been a mistake. We left that park later than we had planned, and now we may not make the lunch. But that's the loser attitude, the defeatist that dwells within us all. But I am not all. I am Hoss. I will get her there on time. I have 3 minutes.
There was no time to mess with a stroller when we finally got off the bus for Epcot. There was also no time for pleasantries. My daughter was tired and her pace slowed. I did what a father was supposed to do. I hoisted her up on my shoulders. Come little one, I will be your steed.
She kicked me in the face and we were off. I shouted directions at the rest of our troops and then I took off.
Sweat pours off me, stinging my eyes and soaking my shirt. In the back of my mind, I know I look good. A father suffering for his little daughter? Nothing is more attractive. I am walking sex, I am testosterone personified.
2 minutes to go and I am pointed north. I know that I am headed in the right direction because I have studied this course for a month. I anticipated that this may happen. I was right. North. Towards Sweden. Towards my daughters dream.
I may have developed a blister. It does not matter. No pain matters. My daughter's thumbs go into my ears. It is her game. I have no time for games. I can only hear my breath, ragged, sucking air into my lungs. I feel my heartbeat in each inhale that I do. It beats strong in my chest, covered by hair and determination. I will get us there.
1 minute until the lunch starts. I have no time to get to my wallet and pull out my reservation number. If I am questioned or stopped, I plan to throw Little Hoss through a window. She will crouch, giving a victory cry as she crashes through the stained glass. She will land on her feet and roll with the impact. She will jump up in a fighting stance. I know that she will do this because she is my daughter.
I see the top of the restaurant come into my line of sight. There are people blocking my path. But I am Hoss, my path is never blocked by the lesser people, the little ones that serve only to delay me but not thwart me. I walk in front of someone's picture. I apologize but do not stop. I know that the picture will turn out better with me in it anyway. I hip check a family in red shirts, there must be 15 of them. I note that their shirts mention a family reunion. I tell them that I am long lost uncle Hoss and do not stop for autographs.
I break through the crowd. I see the restaurant.
I see the line outside the restaurant. It is atleast 25 minutes long. 30 different princesses, ages 2 to 15 stare at my lumbering form as I finally stop. They all have thier hair done, tiara's in place, glitter on their faces.
And they all have reservations.
It appears that 12:30 was more of an approximate time. Would have been good to know.
My wife, son and mother in law come up behind me. Little Hoss jumps off my shoulders which are now raw from the friction. I hand her to Hossmom who has the Belle Princess Dress that my daughter is to wear. I shake their hand and let them know that I may be a bit late as I should really go back and make a few apologies to other families on vacation.
I walk away. Victory is mine, my goal has been accomplished.
I need to rest my shoulder's. Their dream come true ability will be needed later tonight. There is a parade later that night and I have a gut feeling that I will have use of their might once again.