Saturday, September 17, 2011

Travel Time

So this time I drove, it felt odd not parking in an airport. After logging in just under fifty flights over the last five years one goes into an automatic passenger mode. If I even get near an airport the mind starts churning and mixing like a 1980’s ice cream maker. Airports have a way of conditioning you; the public becomes cattle caught in a twisted Rube Goldberg machine of security check points and over priced croissants. It’s fantastic.

But not today, I am driving to my destination; heading south riding the caustic artery of LA’s 405. Its 4:18am and the sun hasn’t dared to look over the horizon, yet. The road comes fast at this time of day, rolling with the school of big rigs that surround me. I felt like a fly on the back of a wild buffalo caught in a running herd rumbling through the lands. This is the only way to travel.

About halfway to my destination, my throat was dry from the black coffee and my stomach finally woke up. I am sure the stomach was wondering what the hell was going on and why we were up so damn early. I consider myself a morning person but really I think the only reason why one is so energized in the early hours is because they actually are going through shock that in fact they are awake. That is a subject I will get into later but not now. I have to eat. Pulled over, grabbed a bite and made my way south to San Diego.

The traffic coagulated a bit just north of the city but it was quite manageable. The sun started to make the slow climb into the morning sky. Driving through downtown this early is a bit eerie. Quiet, only a handful of people on the streets almost no traffic and most of the street lights hung on solid green. It felt like the entire city was a movie backdrop. Have I entered Fa├žade Diego? Hotel parking was easy but at $26 a day it damn well better be easy. Checked in; they put me at the top floor. It’s a nice view, one of the few times my view didn’t consist of a parking structure or a rusted roof top peppered with air conditioners. Unpacked and took a few minutes to gaze out the window. Small boats dotted the bay while huge military ships were docked nearby. It’s good to be American.

Until Next Time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Four Hours, 12 Ounces, and Three Years.

The airport was full for a Thursday morning. I mean who travels this early on a Thursday? Glad I got there when I did, the American Airlines terminal was packed will all types of travelers. Waiting at the gate, laptop in hand looking what the weather is in New York, I’m not even going to New York. Holy crap its early - who invented this time anyway? Then it hit me, a child’s toy smacked me in the head, there was a moment of silence which was broken by the hysterical laughter of a toddler. That kind of laugh that only a child has, a mix of hysteria and evil. You can’t be mad because laughing is one of the few contagious things that you don’t mind being around. I turned to my left and there she was, maybe three or four. The child had crazy hair like a static bomb exploded in a blond factory. She smiled and gave me that eye; I knew she was planning something.

We boarded the plane; someone was sitting in my seat. The guy requested that we switch seats so he could sit next to his son. So I took his seat on the other side, which of course was right behind the little girl who hit me in the head with her inflatable bat. It seems her plan is coming to fruition. When I set down I looked up and saw her little fingers wrap over the top of the seat, her head slowly creeped up and as soon as we made eye contact she started that evil chuckle. Great, the three year old toddler with crazy hair knows I’m here – within striking distance.

All was quiet in 35a until about halfway into the four hour flight. Catastrophe stuck. I had a glass full of Ginger Ale sitting on the place mat in front of me. Then without warming the icy cold beverage from Canada decided to commit suicide just as I was pulling out a magazine. For my convenience the ginger ale chose my lap as a good place to end its life. Now here is where things start to get interesting. I am wearing tan pants, not jeans but cotton pants that are tan. Hey look my lap now look likes the bladder has gone full release. Great, now what - the girl next to me had that look of awkward disgust. The first words out my mouth was “Did you see that? A typhoon just flew in my pants!” Almost on cue, the toddler sitting in front of me poked her head over the seat and started laughing in the the language of Hysterics.

Two hours to go, sitting in a wet seat with wet pants. I then realized that in this situation with no change of clothes nearby there really isn’t anything I can do. Using the air nozzle to dry my pants was a valiant but feeble effort. All I could do is wait and think about dry things.
Until Next Time