observations from the airport

the people in front of me in security are a family of five with three boys probably somewhere between 7 and 12. all redheads. somehow this affinity supersedes my usual extreme irritation with any groups larger than two or with children younger than 20 in the airport. theyre all huddled around the little tsa podium and the agent is doing that thing where they ask each of the kids their first and last names and whether “these guys are your mom and dad,” gesturing to their parents. They say yes, obviously. that interaction always made me so nervous as a kid. “be sure to make eye contact” my parents would say while we waited in line. i’m always confused by people who buy books in the gate. i just find it hard to believe that you really have NO books at home to bring but you want to read a book at 5:15am badly enough that you’re in the airport bookstore willing to both lower your quality standards and withstand the inflated purchase price. we all know you’ll just fall asleep on the plane like the rest of us. There should probably be more coffee options in this fancy new laguardia terminal. i’m waiting in a long line at whats really not a coffee shop at all, more like a fancy hudson news (theme is chic brown/exposed wood instead of blue) with a coffee kiosk in the back like the one they set up in the library during finals. they only have whole and skim milk and two thermoses of burnt coffee. this is an affront to the lga coffee drinking population, one that the woman behind the counter has to own up to during every transaction after someone asks for oat or almond milk. about every third person hears the bad news and storms off all exacerbated. i’m confused that everyone seems so surprised when we’ve all been standing in this line for 15 minutes, undoubtedly within earshot of the 10 register exchanges that happen before it becomes our turn. the pizza place is really bustling for 5:20am. the guy next to me in the gate is making what looks like a brunch menu in Preview. it’s in that font that brunch menus always seem to be in — not quite Lavenda but definitely no Helvetica — and the background is that menu color, the tannish greenish brownish one. the headings read, “benedicts”; “vegan and gluten free”; “healthy”; “melts”; “sandwiches” ; and “chicken sandwiches”, which im not really sure should warrant a category all to itself but it does seem to have a lot of options under it. he can’t seem to decide whether to price the “southern belle’s oatmeal” at $5.99 or $7.49. there’s no description, so I’m not sure what makes it so ladylike. Everyone here knows i love southwest, but the “hello what number are you” confrontation during boarding will never not be weird. when the woman i ask tells me she’s B20, im not sure whether im supposed to tell her im B17 to justify the fact that im about to squeeze in in front of her or whether she couldn’t care less what number i am and my squeezing is indication enough that whatever number i have is lower than 20. i tell her and she seems irritated. Walking onto the plane, there are choices to make and I feel out of practice. sometimes i go for the first seat i see even if it’s in the middle, but today i don’t feel so desperate. i’m mostly a window girl but i have a feeling it’ll be cold by the window today so i take the first aisle seat i see. i quickly regret it when i realize that the flight is only full enough to fill about half the middle seats. if i had gone just a few rows back, i bet i could’ve gotten an aisle and avoided a middle seat mate. as im thinking this, a nice seeming guy in a very ugly shirt sits down next to me and starts looking at rental properties in tucson. could be worse. In the air, all my downloaded music is either terrible or makes me want to cry. i have to pee the whole time but am self conscious about getting up. i beat my high score in temple run.

calling all brave enough

Temple run is back and i am inviting all challengers. Please be forewarned (but don’t be shy!), i am extremely good at temple run. Required game-time soundtrack: Pet Sounds. You know why. Please direct all inquires to tryandbeatmeattemplerunidareyou@gmail.com p.s. happy 10th bday to temple run, a momentous and troubling occasion.

bad terms / ex vegans

This morning I woke up and it was snowing. It wasn’t the nice fluffy kind, more like the sloshy heavy stuff that makes the sidewalks slick and your hair really wet. Yesterday was 55 degrees and sunny and while we all knew it was just the annual mid-february tease, it’s impossible not to be disappointed when it doesn’t stick. I looked at my phone and i had four text dissertations from the ex vegan. He was passionate -- “guess you never cared about me”; “i feel sorry for you”; “you treated me like garbage”; “i think about you all the time”. His words were a straightforward mixture of anger and pain, and I told myself no one should be blamed for feeling that way. After all, I’m always saying I should have more conviction around things I care about, not to mention the guts to be honest. But what he said was also condescending and rude and hurtful and at times not even true and reading his messages was simply no way to start the day if you ask me. It’s not that I fault him for how he feels, but I'm just not sure I should have to read so many parentheticals calling out my supposed 'insecurities' first thing in the morning. “(scary feeling, right? Something so special/good?)”, he wrote. I left the messages unanswered. Amy, Katie and I went to see the worst person in the world last night and I felt again the sort of tired and heavy feeling I had when I left the theater. There’s a scene where she breaks up with her long-term partner for no reason and a million reasons, and we're privy only to pieces of their drawn out conversation/argument -- the scene is well done, really. But eventually, they end up sitting by the window in a quiet and sustained hug/lean situation (I would say they were ‘holding each other’ but I hate that expression so this is my attempt to refrain). Maybe it has nothing to do with “good terms” or “bad terms”, but that post breakup purgatory looked sort of beautiful -- a final, exhausted, shared moment of intimacy when everything’s been said and somehow you feel closer than you have in a long time because finally you’re on the same page, even though that page is your last. Watching them, I wished I had gotten to have that with Rubin. Over the course of the day, ex vegan sent 6 more messages, each longer and more aggressive than the last. Sitting at lunch with Katie, Christina, and Zoe, watching them come in and trying not to cry, I decided to block his phone number. It felt finite and that felt relieving and also bad, but at the end of the day I have enough required reading as it is (no extra dissertations welcome) and I felt like I had reached my limit on text-yelling for now. Still, it was a sad reminder that sometimes things don’t end on good terms and that has to be okay. I scrolled through instagram on the train after lunch. I re-downloaded the app a few days ago, submitting to the allure of the virtual alter-egos of everyone I know. I regretted it immediately but I decided not to delete it again. I went to Shalma’s and laid down next to her space heater for a long time. When I left, I took a few steps down her hallway before turning around and telling her i thought i had taken the wrong shoes. They were the wrong color or they felt looser, there was a strange tag where there shouldn’t have been. It was like the end of a college party when you rummaged through the mountains of black jackets to find yours, praying you wouldn’t be subjected to a very cold walk home in a seasonally inappropriate outfit. They were my shoes in the end, so crisis averted (i realize this anecdote sounds like it’s supposed to be a metaphor, and a cliche one at that, but it really is just what happened). After that I made my way home through crowds of people loaded up with dips and 6-packs for the super bowl, which i keep forgetting is today. I decided I’m rooting for cincinnati, not that i’m watching.