“This might sound like a strange question,” I began. She interrupted me.
“No, I’m sure it’s not,” she assured me.
“That kind of day?”
“That’s just how it is here.” Crazy life at the Concourse K Sunglass Hut?
“Well, I wanted to ask you if several months ago you got a poem…”
“Oh my God, that was you? Let me give you a hug!”
“All right, that’ll be $3.98…whoa…did you scan your card?”
“No. I don’t know what happened.”
“Maybe that last guy’s card is still keyed in?”
“I guess. Um…whoops?”
I still needed to break a twenty to give my friend gas money once I got back to Asheville.
“I can’t just open the drawer. Sorry.”
“It’s all right, I’ll just get a pack of gum.”
“It’s a toy.”
“But it’s shaped like a gun. We’re going to have to get it in your checked luggage.”
“But it’s obviously a toy.”
We were already running late and the airline had made several boarding announcements. They were insistent.
I hope that Eric appreciated his goddamned Chicken Chucker.
“I really appreciate all that you’re doing for me. You have no idea what I went through to get on that last flight.”
She stayed an hour after her shift had ended to make sure I’d have a seat on the first flight to Laredo the next morning.
The shuttle ride from the airport to the cheap motel they’d arranged for those of us who’d been bumped was quiet and dark. The check-in at the motel was kind but cold and methodical. “We’re going to process you all in two lines. Once we’re done at the desk our restaurant will still be able to accommodate your meal vouchers. We can get you all some toiletries for tonight if you need them, combs, shaving gel, toothpaste. Just let us know.”
I slept poorly that night.
Eight hours later I was in the air again, nothing but the sky.