Saturday, November 29, 2008

To Tampa and Back (or Lines Written a Few Minutes Before and After Flying a Few Miles Above the Earth)

As I set about to recontextualize my travel experience and drink coffee at the airport as I think "hey, I can drink beer at the airport" if I'd like
and I'd like except its 6:45 in the morning
I watched a man grope the fountain and felt a poem-like diarrhea coming out of me.

Recontextualizing the Airport in the Wake of My New-found Adulthood

1. Airport travel is no longer besmirched with carrying bags that belong to my mother.
2. Travel is no longer confusing. Either I'm less panicky, or we always had complicated flights, or my dad was teeming with questions.
3. Travel is lonelier-like.
4. I can stop and look at the damn fountain as long as I like!
5. TSA guy who I gave my receipt to instead of my boarding pass, who scoffed at me - what a hottie.
6. The Detroit airport doesn't have smoking rooms. But if it did I could smoke. Except I quit smoking.
7. Only go to the bathroom when I need to go - which isn't nearly as often as the female conglomerate and male stronghold of my family.
8. No loud almond-crunching while we wait for our flight. The airport doesn't play loud enough music to mask that sound.
9. The Atlanta airport had smoking rooms. They were sick!
10. The boy standing in line to the desk is adorable. He is also five. He can't see over the counter as daddy talks to the lady behind the huge silver wall. What do they talk about? Boring stuff.
11. The lady across from me is drinking Big Joe's coffee. I'm drinking Starbucks. I'd rather drink anything else besides Starbucks. Maybe she'll switch with me.
12. I just ate delicious buttered bread. There's more in my bag - I'll eat it soon.
13. If THEY ever made a movie of my life, I would want them to have a 3 minute static shot of me eating bread because that is so much more of life than the time I saved a tribe of babies from imminent peril in the Ozarks. In that moment, one would know just how much I like bread, how I hate crumbs on me, and how I have a bent against airport food because my parents never ate it.
14. Start eating airport food.
15. Big Joe's lady looks like a depressed sleepy bird. Poor lady.
16. Sad Bird left me. Now I feel a little sad. Fly away little birdie; find better poaching ground.
17. Big News! I just got paged! Over the intercom! No, and this time it's not terrorism. I got moved to a window seat so that a baby can sit by their parent. No kidnapping for me. Or parent napping, for that matter, under the watchful eye of the baby. I might be able to do some windownapping!
18. Sad Bird came back to find her seat filled by a besuited man with big, jocular eyes and too little hair for his age. He stares bravely forward. Sad Bird drifted to a new seat, and sunk into despondency.
19. Now the lady behind the huge silver wall is reassigning the shit out of this plane! How big is this baby?
20. If the plane was hijacked by a tribe of Ozarkian militant babies, do you think people would be less likely to defend themselves? Hell I wouldn't want to beat up a baby.
21. I'm not sure this is a poem anymore.
22. The airport is a roaring poem.
23. Standing on the moving walkway is really stupid.
24. That lady had red hair! I didn't care for her boots. The man with her probably cares for her boobs. They have to be cared for like waxing a car.
25. A bigger boy just tackled his smaller cousin, and they both fell. A lady screamed Cousins!
26. I think we're boarding now onto our drastically shifted plane. Here's to infant militantism.
27. I never want to forget what a big deal this is. I'm staring at the top of clouds, watching the sunlight dance through their stringy membranes. Dare I turn a cold shoulder?
28. Recontextualization may be complete: I'm drinking at the airport. The magical threshold has been crossed and it tastes like Sam Adams.
29. On my way home now. I was reading Frank, but decided writing could be better. Oddly enough I'm the only one reading poetry at the Jose Cuervo bar in Tampa. Does that make me awesome or an asshole?
30. It's funny to stereotype people at an airport.
"Damn Tampanian hicks."
"But I'm from FRAHNCE."
31. Bartender keeps staring at my Frank book. Closeted poesyphile?
32. When I walked in here, she said:
"Hello there, welcome to Jose Cuervos. Know what you want or do you need a minute?
What I wanted to say:
"Wow, what a creative name for a tequila bar. How'd you think of that?"
What I said:
"Ooh! I'll need a minute. I've always wanted to drink at the airport!"
I'm fuckin' adorable.
33. Have to fly in 15 minutes. Gee, so much beer to drink. Hope I don't miss it!
34. Well, I guess I'm boarding in 15 minutes. Quite different than flying.
35. Only near attractive man in this joint (enjoyed use of word joint) is wearing a nice scarf and has squinty eyes. Maybe he's tired? Lonely?
Lonely, lonely, my life is boney.
36. I think he's drunk.
37. Lady next to me is one of those hot 41 year old types. She's drinking Michelob Light. Bottled.
38. Yeah, I think I'm an airport asshole. Is this what I grew up to be?
39. Or maybe everyone is cynical at airports - sitting around judging all the nincompoops.
40. How odd that we would be that way. It's a perfect place to make friends! A playground of weapon-free waiters who are BORED.
41. Smile! I'm bomb-free!
42. My favorite is that the government strips us down to our stockings as we walk through the metal detectors. How cozy is that?
43. Well, need both hands now. Is this the end? This part really was just the epilogue.


A. R. H. said...

I feel like you pretty much described the last 2 trips I have taken, minus the poetry and final destination... and eating bread. Although I would love to shoot a 3 minute video of you eating bread in an airport.

... Also the Atlanta airport is huge.

saracita said...

I love airports. They're so emotional. Your poem/list brought up vivid memories of one time in an airport bar. Then I realized I have never actually been in an airport bar. Someday! I did spend a lot of time in the Nashville airport, though... which has an entire row of rocking chairs... and sometimes live countrywestern... oh, airports...