Sunday, November 2, 2008
Songs About Airports II
Notes on a weekend journey to see my cousin get married...
--Slipping into the stylish bath of humanity and stress known as the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, I ride the moving walkway past the tasty-looking A&W root beer stand, to the men's room on the right. Clearly, cleanliness is really not next to godliness: there are mud and dirt stains all over the floors, and when I make a right to use the stalls, I notice pools of water covering the ground. Not wanting to know their provenance, I vamoose to another rest room. This one's cleaner, but the water explodes out of the tap, spraying on my jacket sleeves in such a way that I suspect Allen Funt is behind the mirror.
--"Hold on a sec," the cashier at the DTW gift shop says, midway through ringing up my purchase of much-needed DayQuill. As I stand with a bill in my hand, she leaves the counter, and holds a mysterious conference with faceless folks in the stock room.
--I'm perfectly happy turning off my I-pod for portions of the flight, but can we have a corollary that when it's off, the jack-asses sitting around us can't share their life stories at top volume? The Chatty Kathy behind me is a dead ringer for Kris Kristofferson, which only makes his whopper-filled anecdotes about life on the road in the 1970s all the more poignant (midway through his tale of trying to avoid paying a bribe to a customs official in Marrakesh, I halfway expect to hear him accompanied by the gentle strains of "Me and Bobby McGee"). Despite the deeply felt '75 groove he's rocking to maximum effect, his trapped seat-mate is not impressed by his Disco Stu come-ons, and eagerly deplanes the minute we touch ground.
--I can't help but admire the chutzpah: just as the flight attendant is reading the guidelines about fastening seat-belts and making sure tray tables are in an upright position, my seat-mate puts her tray table down and rests her head on it. She seems shocked when, upon departure, her table is rudely rocked by our movement upward: her head jolts, and she regards the traitorous piece of gray plastic with a suspicious air.
--My cab driver back to Oberlin is a former therapist who's fond of raising points about Marxist dialectics. We discuss Obama, and what the weather might be like on Tuesday (he says sunny skies are predicted, and I hear it metaphorically).