For me, there aren't many things worse than sitting in an airport. Even if you happen to find an open seat by your gate, it's inevitably beside a spoiled 3-year-old sassing his mom. Sitting in a restaurant isn't an option because a beer is too tempting, yet toxic, once you've popped a Xanax. There are never enough outlets, or bathrooms, or coffee that hits my taste buds just so. I'm a writer though, so writing is bound to happen even if I'm uncomfortable, cranky, a little boozed, and undercaffeinated.
Giant pieces of metal melded and bolted together, floating in the clouds. Sounds like I made it up, right?
Seats. Fabric. Coughed on, spilled on, probably full of god-knows-what disease because thousands of people sit in just 1 seat each year.
How do the wings not break off in turbulence?
Who wakes up and says "I think I want to fly a 60-ton hunk of metal through the air for a living?" Umm, please order a psych-evaluation.
The coveted exit row. I wonder if the stewards know that about 90% of those people won't help in the case of an emergency. Perhaps they have a silent agreement —
quiet eyes saying, "it's okay if you fuck this up."
Contrary to popular belief, airports were not made for air travel. In fact, they were created for those who enjoy the majestic art of people watching.
The adventure begins as soon as you walk in the door. A man, pretending to stand patiently in line, gripping his rolling bag too tightly and speaking tight-lipped to his kids.
In the security line, I found myself actually getting stupid listening to a conversation happening behind me.
Girl: "I mean, I drink 12 bottles of wine in a weekend"
Boy: "I failed organic chemistry because I went to A-Basin too much."
College students are spoiled rotten. Also, they exaggerate everything.
So many languages. During one afternoon in New York's LaGuardia, I heard 7, 5 of which I didn't know. Right now, in Denver, I hear 3.
At least I'm drinking coffee out of an actual mug. And it's halfway decent. Nothing like sipping coffee at 9:01 am to the hypnotic beat of Justin Bieber's Sorry. I don't hate it.
At this hour, all bartenders look a bit robotic, serving drinks while wearing a sleepy smile. Their patrons, who are mostly traveling alone, find comfort in their screens, browsing god knows what in the internet black hole.
Everyone is moving. Even those who find a chair at the gate shift often in their seats. Mouths, chewing. If you look too long, it's actually incredibly gross. Watching people's faces move is weird.
Kids, running on the moving sidewalk. One jogs backward and falls swiftly on his bum. Where are his parents? In the airport, parenting goes out the door. Empty threats of "we'll leave you here," followed by "just give him the I-pad" make me sick. I suppose bad parenting can be blamed on holiday travel? Not.
I'm refreshed by a conversation I'm hearing from behind me. A young man, well-dressed and probably from the midwest, is on the phone. "I can't wait to see you, mom." My heart. It's overhearing sentiments like this that make me want to give humanity a chance. In the airport of all places.
Denver -> Cleveland
As a writer, inspired by the happenings in the airport, it's time to do some research. Headphones on, I dive into the trenches of finding a seat outside of my gate. It was good knowing you all.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.