Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week 13: (Air)port Authority


An airport is a strange place.  Every single person in this tremendous building is on his or her own carefully plotted trajectory.  All are rushing, rushing, rushing.  Everyone pushing and shoving with no regard for anyone else around them.  Yet, amidst all this hustle and bustle is the airport bar--in this case, Goose Island.  A dark pub-like atmosphere where the brightly-lit chaos seems to fade away.
Here, the shades are half-drawn, the game is on, and everyone is at home.

Here, travelers shed that every-man-for-himself mentality and instead embrace a quiet camaraderie with people of all ages who have simply gathered around to catch the Alabama v. Texas A&M game and grab a beer or two before venturing back out into the madness.

It is here that my husband and I sit, awaiting our plane's departure.  I have flown quite a few times but this is my first experience at an airport bar.  As I sip my $9 White Russian, I am struck by how equally foreign and familiar this place seems.  It feels like a neighborhood pub yet there is luggage strewn about and people periodically rotate in and out of the few available stools.

I find myself wondering about a peculiar man who gingerly sips his beer while standing at the edge of the bar.  He is dressed in khakis and a dark blazer; his loafers and luggage, well-worn leather--clearly out of place amongst baseball caps and jeans.  I wonder where he has traveled to and what his perspective might be compared to someone like myself.  I am humbled by the thought that I have traveled very little in my nearly three decades on the planet.

I once again arrive at an all-too-familiar conclusion.  I am wasting my time and energy on things that really do not matter when there is a whole world out there just waiting to be uncovered.  I silently vow to let the little things go and to instead embrace the great unknown.

But then, that's the traveler's fallacy, isn't it?  We get just a little outside of our everyday lives and start to feel more in touch with who we are or who we used to be and suddenly our eyes open and we make these sorts of internal promises.  We think that somehow this time is different.  That somehow we will make more time and money.  That our lives don't have to be the little ruts we have so carefully dug out for ourselves.


Keeping all of this in mind.  I cannot help by hold out hope that there is more to life than the everyday humdrum of it all.  I want to do more.  To be more.

Coming Up... Week 14: Live Free or Die!


  1. First i am sorry I haven't been on your posts for a while but i am back......It is odd the manner that we act in, in a airport period. I haven't seen an airport that many times in my life. When i was very young ....when i was 13 ish and once again when i was 25 ish. Once you get my age you kinda forget little details like age. Anywho this most recent time yielded one of the worst moments with my father and the best moments with my father. I am a big guy and on the plane ride back from Hawaii to LAX i was stuffed into my seat. When we landed people were acting stupid like they didn't know what to do, and I spent too much time in a very cramped space. Two feet into LAX I tell my father ...I don't give a fuck and that I guess I would see him in chicago and walked off. I settled down and in the time we were waiting for our layover we had a great time. I walked up to him and we didn't need to say anything. It was both the best and one of the worst moments I have sent with my dad.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I have had both good and bad experiences with air travel. David especially was terrible to travel with because he was always tired and cranky and irritated and rushed. The past few times David and I have gone anywhere, though, we have arrived early with plenty of time to make it through security (or stop for a drink at the bar), and that has made a huge difference. We can just sit back and be amused by everyone else pushing and shoving like they are the only people trying to get anywhere.