I’m never flying again. I hate airports. In fact, I hate this whole stupid process. It’s 8:51 AM. I’ve already had one Bloody Mary. So far, they’ve delayed my flight twice, but they do it in small increments—one hour at a time to make you believe you might actually get the hell out of the stinkin’ airport before you’re stinkin’ drunk. And/or crying. Which I’ve already done in public, and I don’t care who saw me. Because I hate flying. I hate airports. I hate airlines.
I’ve developed an all-out phobia for this flying thing. I felt it this morning on the drive here. Jake was all dressed up for work, looking very suave. He made me coffee and drove me to the airport at 5:30 AM. He played upbeat music, and I should have been happy to be heading home to visit my family, who I love and miss. Instead, I was panicked. I could feel my rib cage tightening. I couldn’t get full breaths. I felt tears welling up. Yes, I was sad to say goodbye to my fellah for a week. But beyond that, I was terrified. Because when it comes to air travel, I am utterly cursed to be trapped, delayed, and once, cancelled.
It’s practically a punishment, the whole experience—a punishment for some heinous act you have yet to commit. But airport security knows that someday, you will do something awful, and they want to punish you in advance. I mean seriously, who else would get such pleasure from stealing my $8 face soap? It’s like prison … or glorified camping. “I’m sorry, miss, we don’t allow deodorant in here.” I know, I’m being awful. I know, they do all this for our safety and security. But it doesn’t feel safe and secure right now. It just feels cruel. And I knew, when that butch lady in the tight pants took my face soap this morning, that the terror was far from over. I knew, then and there, that my hell had only begun.
Because here I am, and my flight is delayed two hours. For now.
And in this fashion, airports are like that hotel in The Shining. It’s a place where people’s souls are trapped, and they are left here, to burn and drink at odd hours, because there is nothing else to do. Smokers can’t even smoke, because so many of our modern airports are doing away with smoking lounges. I mean, they’re inviting us to get angry, get drunk, and RIOT … I say we start a travelers’ union. “We aren’t going to take it anymore!” I’ll be the president, and I will wash my face in front of the angry stewardess! Yes, you see!!! I will call flight attendants stewardesses. I’ll do it. You wait and—
Wow. Um. Well. This dude, named Gabrielle, just came up to me with a Bible. This guy I’ve never met in my life just came up and said, “I saw you were upset earlier. I’m sorry. I just want you to know that Jesus loves you.” And then, he walked away. Sigh … Now, what am I supposed to do? I guess I’ll just stare at strangers. In this huge, stupid airport, waiting for a plane that feels like it will never come. Because, hey, in hindsight, things could always be worse. Some people don’t even have anyone to fly home to.