Posts Tagged ‘TSA’

The car reeks of gasoline.

It’s the car from the service company taking us to the airport and it reeks of gasoline. Bill says it makes him nauseous. Although it’s winter, we put the windows down three or four inches. I have my nose as close to the opening as I can get without climbing on the seat. I think of the way dogs poke their noses out the window and wish I could. The driver keeps apologizing, suggest we call the company, that they’ll take more notice of a customer’s complaint. Bill calls them from the airport. He says they just said “Thanks.”

We’re motioned into the priority line—nothing has to come out of the luggage, shoes stay on My shoulder bag gets pulled aside and I follow an unsmiling agent to a table where she begins to take everything out. “Don’t touch anything once I open the bag,” she tells me. She finally finds a small pocketknife I had no idea was even in the bag. It gets tossed, leaving me feeling furtive.

The waiting area is crowded and noisy. A child screams continuously. It seems as if half the passengers pre-board, although there are mostly empty seats when our turn comes. We choose aisle seats across from one another. I get lucky—the middle seat stays free. The little dog seven rows up keeps yipping. The child, blessedly, is quiet, no doubt exhausted from her crying bout inside.

The wings are de-iced, flight attendants do their shtick as stand-up, we take off, immediately entering the bank of clouds dooming those below to entire day of gloom. We go up and up. It’s as if we’re flying through the debris in a vacuum cleaner bag, fluffy and grey. The man in the window seat half-jokes about whether he should worry that the pilot can’t see anything. We laugh.

It grows gradually lighter and finally we emerge into the sunshine that’s always on the other side of the clouds. The snow field of white fills the sky. We exchange wondering glances, smiling at the beauty.

Wednesday, I left Ohio for the sunny warmth of Arizona, on a Southwest flight delayed by the departure of Airforce One from Cleveland at the moment when our baggage was about to loaded on the plane.  If you could see the airport and surrounding area at the time, it would appear as a movie when there’s a glitch and everything freezes for a few minutes, then resumes just where it left off a few moments earlier. (more…)