30,000 Feet And Nowhere To Go: Flight Three

I was leaving North Carolina and heading back home. I sat at the airport and waited. I didn’t run to the gate the instant I arrived. I sat alone and savored a cold drink (soda) before I walked down the line. A gentleman took a seat next to me. You know the bathroom etiquette? I shouldn’t say I don’t. I do but it has to be a life or death situation. I know to leave a space between urinals. I don’t know. By the way, the above links article says not to pee in a stall. Eff you. I have a urinal phobia. Not to mention, who knows if the fellow in the urinal next to me has a wandering eye.

This guy didn’t feel the need to leave a space between us. He plopped his business ace right next to me. Him and his ugly blue tie, his 400 dollar suit, and his obviously needed briefcase can bite me. If I was up to it, I would have punched him with my third fist. Being a business man, he whipped out his blackberry and proceeded to call just about everyone in his contact list. He called a few associates and praised the meeting he attended on how it went great. Kudos to him. He nailed it. I finished my soda and headed towards the gate. I never got the chance to hear him call his wife and his mistress. I had a plane to catch. I was just hoping that I don’t catch anything else. I walked the pathway towards the metal detector. The man with the magic wand was standing there. He looked cocky. He beat it against an open palm. He was resembling a bully with a billy club.

Even knowing I am not a terrorist or have any crimes pending against me, I still worry greatly that when they check my ID and my ticket, I’ll be flagged and get hauled off to some deep dungeon within the airport to be tied to a chair and tormented till I told the feds what I knew. My over active imagination is going to get me in some trouble sooner or later. I think the real fear is knowing that I was carrying an external hard drive within my suitcase. Believe me, before I left for the trip, I searched website after website making sure I was able to have it in my luggage. I took off my shoes and emptied my pockets. I watched the items roll down the conveyor belt. I placed my suitcase on it as well. I took a deep breath. I let myself know that everything will be okay. My conscience was giving me a pep talk. It assured me that everything was going to be okay. I stepped through. You know how much of a relief it is to not hear the buzzer go off? I felt like I got away with it. I was wearing my belt still. The machine didn’t buzz. Which makes me wonder if these machines are flawed or if they react differently airport to airport. When I left Kansas City, I did the same thing. I didn’t remove my belt. The machine went off and I was told to remove it.

My shoes and my pocket contents emerged from the machine. I put my shoes on. I waited for my suitcase. I waited longer. The woman controlling the machine stopped at what obviously was my suitcase. I really felt like I was in trouble. I felt like a kid getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Some guy walked towards me and asked if the suitcase was mine. I nodded and said, “yes”. He pulled it off to the side and unzipped it slowly. Okay. So it wasn’t done slowly but to add to the dramatic effect of the situation I was now in, it only feels right to add some sense of danger and pending doom to this story. He pulled out my boxers and waved them around like a helicopter. Thank you, sir. I don’t need those anymore. He lifted up my clothes, digging deeper to get to what was causing such a stir. It’s the hard drive.  I know it is. Why did I make it through KCI airport with no hassle (besides my belt) but here, the hard drive put me inches closer to being on the no fly list.

After a talk with the guy, he told me to not carry the drive in my suitcase. It could ruin the files inside. I know he is only doing his job but I don’t need to be treated like an infant. Talking baby talk to me isn’t going to make me feel better. It’s actually making me feel small and stupid. He pointed to my suitcase and said I was ‘free to go’.

Free to go? Really? I really did do something wrong. I zipped my suitcase but before I could accomplish such an easy task, a pair of boxers fell on the airport floor. I said how I hate having that feeling that I am being watched. At that very moment, a select number of travelers now know that I wear red and black stripped boxers. I know, stylish? I hurried off and rushed to avoid people. As I walked away, I began criticizing myself for making such a foolish mistake. Never again. Never again will I bring a hard drive with me. If I ever do, I’ll keep it away from my undergarments.

I took a seat and broke out my notebook. I was in the process of writing up my blog entry for my Halloween costumes. I put on my headphones but listened to no music. I just wanted to look as if I was tuning people out. As I wrote, I saw maybe six people with their new iPhone 4s. That makes me upset. I want that phone. Of course, one was a business man. I wondered why he didn’t have a blackberry. I assumed the blackberry is a requirement for those kind of people. If you recall earlier, I mentioned how I was violated when the man dug around my suitcase and placed his hands all over my boxers. It’s not a good feeling to know that someone is fondling your underwear. The only bright side to that is, I wasn’t wearing them while he fondled the boxers. That would be an awkward store to tell family and friends.  A lady causally walked by me. She was talking to her friend. I only caught one part of the conversation. Luckily, it was the best part…for me. She put her left hand on her friends shoulder and said,

…always feel uncomfortable when someone is unpacking my underpants.

I feel your pain. Thinking now, I wonder if she was in the crowd of onlookers when I was violated. If so, she’s a b**ch for saying that. This is not a laughing matter. You might have not been laughing lady but you saw me sitting there. You tried to be discrete and act as if it was just a normal conversation. I know better. I know a jab when I see/hear one. You can eat a bowl of d**ks.

The ride home took two plane rides. The first of the two was quick. I ran into no issues. We were not offered any drinks and no meal was provided for this short trip. It was about a 45 minute flight. We were in the air and seconds later, the pilot came over announcing our decent. I had no time to write and no time to listen to music. I kept myself busy by staring out the window. I enjoyed the scenery below. The second flight home, I was graciously offered a seat next to a eff’ed up lady. I did enjoy a warm soda for this ride home. The lady next to me, made her drink last the entire duration of the flight. While I wrote and listen to tunes, she busted out her Kindle. Pretty sweet. I still think it would be the better idea to go with an iPad. It’s a Kindle but so much more. But this lady was proud of her electronic book. She whipped it out and booted up her book. I still wish I caught what she was reading. Hopefully for her sake, the title was on the top of each page. I sat there and minded my own business. Which is really the wrong term to use during this specific encounter. If I were truly minding my own business, I wouldn’t have noticed her reading her Kindle. Her reading didn’t strike me as odd. It was the whole song and dance she put on for me while she tossed herself into the story in front of her. She would read a few words and drag the electronic page up. After a brief moment, she would turn off the device and place it in her bag. She reaches for her drink and takes a small sip. She swallows (or so her husband claims) then damps her lips down with the napkin provided. Once she finished quenching her thirst, she took the Kindle back out and booted it back up. Another paragraph or two and the Kindle was turned off, placed back in the bag, and another sip of soda was needed. This went on for a while. It wasn’t until she downed the last sip of soda that she came to a fork in the road. It was either continue reading and suffer from dry mouth or stop reading all together and sit quietly till the liquor cart rolls by. Thankfully, she’s on the wagon. With her Kindle packed tightly away, she sat there in silence and waited for the plane to land. She wasn’t the only one. I too was waiting. I cannot take much more of this.

The plane landed and I was safely back home. The horrors I had to endure were too much. I don’t think I will ever be able to fly again. The passengers are off their rockers. The giant tube in the air is filled with viruses and deadly biological gases. I should be thankful that I made it out alive. I wasn’t carried out in a stretcher and wasn’t placed inside a bubble. Take what you want away from these three entries. I am not putting down air travel. I am just saying it would be safer to fly alone or if you don’t care to fly, take a bus. At least the only thing you’d have to worry about with taking the bus is it going under 50 miles an hour.

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