Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Red Eye

It's 9:45 – 3:45 in the morning, Milan time – and I'm sitting in Terminal B at Newark Airport, only the second most-depressing place I've ever been. The first, of course, was the Cheesequake Rest Stop on the Turnpike at 2:15 AM, when the "I-Heart-New Jersey" souvenir shop is empty, Burger King Express is closing down, and the overcaffinated kids working at Starbucks even though it's technically a school night are telling dirty jokes cause there's no one but truckers and people gone mad from driving fifteen hours straight around to hear them. But I digress. I just never knew that the airport went home at night, shutting down like it's an Applebee's or something. It's brain-dead. The organism still functions, but there's no life save for a few zombiefied stragglers who missed the earlier connection to Memphis, and Lou Dobbs on the plasma-screen TV's, telling us all how the government is negligent and we're going to die. Very comforting stuff.

I haven't been to the airport since 9/11 – and that's deliberate because I honestly don't feel like putting my life in the hands of Roy the Security Guard, even if he does now have a high school degree or equivalency and he's checking to make sure my shoes won't blow up. Al-Qaeda's never gonna try pulling anything on Roy, with his official TSA badge, seriously, sewn on to his uniform. Uh, Government: He's not eleven and in the Boy Scouts, okay? If you don't trust him with a metal badge and safety pin, maybe he shouldn't be protecting our skies.