re LAX

Okay, so Ken and I get to the airport about an hour and 20 minutes early – give or take a few minutes. Okay, so maybe it’s not early, early…. maybe early would be two to three hours before taking off. I’m never that early. It’s not in my bones. LAX is not a friendly airport. It’s busy & cramped & folks are angry & bitter & hardly anyone smiles. It’s true. Those of you who are now shaking your head thinking oh my god she’s so wrong, please, I beg of you, go to the airport at around 10:30/11 am-ish and see for yourself. This is all to say I am not a very patient person. Okay, so we get to the airport and our cab driver tells us that we will be his last passengers because he’s about to become a grandfather and how today is the best day he will ever have. Today he says is a day filled with many miracles. He, our cabdriver, is filled with joy and anticipation and both Ken and I feel obliged to give him a massive tip so his grandchild can also go to college. I tell Ken that I will go inside and wait on line while he waits for the credit card receipt. Ken thinks this is a great idea, less line time for him. After all, he’s with the happy man. I’ll be schlepping baggage. I get on line and this line is about a mile long. Okay, maybe not a mile. Maybe five city blocks, five long city blocks. I look out the window, and I can see Ken. Happy Ken. Happy Cabdriver. Unhappy Amy. I step out of line, and approach the airport check-in security woman who I can tell is deeply unhappy. You know, the kind of woman who has no personality what so ever, and most definitely, without a doubt, no sense of style. A double whammy. She is unkind & unkempt. I mention that my flight is at noon. She looks at me curiously and asks: “Are you an elite member?” I cock my head, hmmmm, i think, again she asks: “Are you an elite member, are you a member of the elite club?” I could have said yes. I could have lied and said, “Yeah, sure, yes, I am an elite person. I am very fucking elite,” but I say, “no, I’m not elite. I’m an ordinary woman who does extraordinary things.” I watch Ken who is still chatting with the cab driver and laughing. Ken is laughing. She tells me in a tone that is both condescending and clipped, “You are not an elite person, YOU do not have elite status,” and she waves me off, and i say whoa whoa … what will happen if I’m still on line in say twenty, twenty-five minutes, half an hour. She tells me that maybe I’ll miss my flight. I ask her if she’s getting paid to do this job. She tells me to go to the very end of the line, that I in fact have lost my place on line. I call Ken on his cell phone and he answers: “Yeah?” I tell him that he should go with the cabdriver to the hospital and help deliver the baby since we’re gonna be at the airport for at least two days. Ken is no longer laughing. I can see him. He can not however see me. The only advantage I have right now is that I am able to watch Ken from inside the LAX PRISON. Ken will not be laughing once he steps inside the terminal. This I can promise you. All the laughter and joy along with the slim to none chance of a baby being named after him will be gone in say five to seven seconds flat. I am waiting on line. The line is not moving. Not at all moving. We are standing still. We’re informed that there is only ONE person at the security point. One person? How is that possible another person asks loudly, how the good fuck is that possible? A couple of other folks chime in. A mini mutiny. Not one person who works at the checkpoint security seems to give a shit that there are a few hundred people waiting on line and that there is only one person at the check in point. And all I can think about is that every one of us – every single one of us without exception – is going to be taking off their shoes. And then I start imagining that because each one of us is filled with major anxiety, all our feet are swelling and sweating, and then I imagine an entire airport stinking to high heaven from god awful smelly feet. I have reached the saturation point. I am beside myself with impatience. Ken strolls in, rolling his luggage behind him as if he were an elite person. He’s rolling and smiling and then he sees me. I am not smiling. I am so pissed and irritated, and because Ken is such a good, kind man, he knows he too should start getting pissed, get rid of the joy & smiles instantaneously, and join in my march toward hell. He knows. I tell him to not talk to me, that I am beside myself, and no one, not one single person at this airport is kind or gentle or filled with any goodness. He tells me that I’m cranky and, pssst…. lets me know that my breath has a metallic kind of smell to it.

And it is there, on the longest line at LAX that I decide to dust off a long time dream, one that I had many, many years ago – during my Barbie doll years. I decide that I’m going to go to school, and I’m going to become an airline pilot. This seems to be the only option. This is the plan: I will go to school, (or truthfully, GO BACK TO HIGH SCHOOL, get my High School diploma – since I have my GED), and then go off to college, say Harvard or Princeton, and then, then…. get my pilot’s license. I tell Ken my plans. He doesn’t know what to say. If he says, “Hon, you know that’s not such a good idea,” he knows I’ll lose it. I am so close to losing it and he knows that I’m at the breaking point. If he says, “Wow that’s a great fucking idea, let’s take every penny we have saved and pour it into your education, and hopefully, hopefully you’ll make it through High School.” I figure if all goes well, I will be a pilot in 10 years. I can tell that Ken wishes he had gone with the cabdriver. I can tell.

“Good,” he says. “Good. You become an airline pilot.”
And then the guy behind us starts to laugh, a great hearty, wonderful, joyous laugh.
And then Ken laughs.
And then I laugh.

Infectious. And then just like that… another person on line laughs, and another… and for whatever reason, the line just starts to move.

I step out of line, asking Ken to hold my place, I walk right up to the nasty unkempt security woman, who is only letting elite passengers go, and I say to her while gesturing to my line:
“These people, these people on my line, they are all very special. They are so much better than elite.” And then the clincher, the Hollywood ending, “And you know what, you know what… if you start to smile, you will never ever need plastic surgery or Botox.”

And with that, a glimmer.

Category: Uncategorized 6 comments »

6 Responses to “re LAX”

  1. Debbie

    LMAO OVER HERE!!!!! you told that story sooooo well. And I loved that you socked it to that b***h with lovingkindness …

    Hope you both get home safely!


  2. Jane

    It’s as if I was there. Great writing, Amy. You should maybe become a writer instead of a pilot. Just a thought.

  3. Barbara@The Middle Ages

    LOL! No, I mean it — not just the silly acronym we have to use because it’s how we speak on the ‘net, but LAUGHING FUCKING OUT LOUD!

    Great post 🙂

  4. kristine

    first…let me say that I am so glad you are home safe. I have known people who have gone to LAX and are never seen or heard from again. I think those nasty security people are cannibals. Think about it…they get you undressing, cop a feel to see who is plumb and tender…and then wammo, they take you into the back room for “further inspection”…
    “tastes just like chicken”.

  5. teaneck taxi and limo

    your story is fantastic … very smartly written. No one can leave it in middle.

    keep it up

  6. newark limo

    i like the story no one leave in middle.thanks

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