So, I attempted to document my recent trip to Phoenix using the Notes App of my iPhone. I had been having a pretty shitty day up to this point, and needless to say drowned my sorrows a bit before ever stepping out the door. What follows is a mostly unedited version of my notes (I had to clean up some of the spelling/grammar for clarity):
Traveling solo. What can you say? It can be brutal, or you can make the most of it. It’s your choice.
Cabs: A good cabby is worth his/her weight in gold. He/she truly sets the mood for the whole trip. Cabbies have the most interesting stories. If they’re talkative, just engage them; you have no idea what you can learn…. Today, I learned that people in Iowa suck. Not just select people. Not just some people. But the entire state. Men, women, children. Suck… Suck… And……. Suck! Iowans are greedy, ruthless and if you turn your back they’ll steal your curio cabinet. No joke. You’re goddamn curio!?! Where will you display your knickknacks???
Security: I’ve never had good luck at the security check point, but lo and behold, today I got placed in the TSA pre-check. This was all going great until the dude in front of me refused to take his cell phone out of his pocket. His cell phone?!? Just take it out and put it in the mini dish, man! Shenanigans ensue, but eventually (well after the guy behind me who was not pre-check was already at the bar), I get through.
Airport Bar: “Unique environment, man.” This is not only an accurate description of these joints, but apparently my bar neighbor’s catch phrase. Christ. I wish I was exaggerating, but this phrase was uttered no less than 12 times in the hour-ish time I’ve been sitting here. I, personally, love airport bars. They have a time warp quality and a weird “anything goes” type flair. Everyone is heading somewhere (allegedly), so there’s a weird vibe of frivolous flirtation, combined with cautious optimism. They are pretty much the only bars left where you can find lonely, solo travelers seeking conversation.
The Gate: Zone, Shmone. This is a free-for-all! It’s every man/woman for him/herself. There is limited overhead space people. Kill, kill, kill…. Die, die, die!
Sidebar: Here is where I must admit I am pretty drunk. I like beer, what can I say?
Flight: For this portion of the tale, I’m going to channel my inner most Hunter Thompson chemically-induced phantasy…
“Across the aisle from me sat a curious beast of man. His seat consumed him like a baby anaconda trying to swallow a coconut. The seat belt groaned at the stress of his immense load. My dreams swirled in a vision of this thin piece of nylon stretching and twisting and aching until it’s structural integrity finally gave way in a violent burst sending particles spewing through the fuselage. The buckle tore through the skull of a woman in first class leaving nothing but a crooked neck bone poking awkwardly up from her bloodied designer jacket. Another piece of shrapnel pierced the thin walls of the cabin like a bullet going through a tin can. The frigid thin air at 20,000 ft screamed into the cabin as the oxygen masks fell from the ceiling like streamers at a New Year’s Eve party. All the while, this brute continued his restful slumber disturbed only by the noisy gasps of his obviously undiagnosed sleep apnea. Meanwhile, I, like any self-respecting man facing his imminent demise, summons the stewardess to fetch me another bourbon. Seemed the only sensible thing to do in this dire situation.”
After this last portion, I must have fallen asleep… probably for the best!