« Osama Bin Laden Killed by U.S. Forces | Main | The Tenderloin Speakeasy »

May 2, 2011

Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us...." - Marianne Williamson

The alarm clock goes off somewhere in the dark of night and I hit snooze and I don't want to get up. Don't want to live this life any more. They killed Obama last night. Lord knows what the retribution will be today. Probably a good day to stay home and out of the airports. And I think about this. About curling up in bed and staying home and this is not an option.

I get out of bed and race to the airport in the snows of spring and on the shuttle, a man with a nice backpack.

"That's a pretty serious backpack you've got there. What's that for?"

"I use it when I travel. I put my laptop in there."

"That's what I'm looking for. The one I have is pretty weak though."

"We sell them," and he hands me his card and I figure I'll look them up. He's not sure how much they run, as he didn't buy his.

"What do you do?" he asks.

"I do precious little. Mostly, I travel. Give speeches. And take photos."

The more evasive you are about what you do, the more intrigued people are by you. That's the truth. That, I have learned. So, when people ask what I do, I'm deliberately evasive.

If I were to say "I'm a computer consultant", then their eyes just glaze over and they start thinking of ways to end the conversation without being overtly blunt.

It's a carefully crafted little tale that I tell because most people want to believe that there is something out there better than this. So I offer them that. A glimpse at a life that could be. And if it's not the delicate truth, it's not far from it. And immensely more interesting.

He gives me his card and now we're at the airport. I'm expecting long lines due to Obama's untimely demise, but the lines are not bad. I get up to security and try to slide a small arsenal of tools through the metal detector and the woman behind me says "you missed a belt loop" and I'm like "do what?"

"You missed a loop," she says.

And she's right, of course. I've missed a loop in the back of my pants.

"This is the price of living alone. I don't have anyone to catch those little things for me."

She actually is wearing a shirt that says "be good to people" and she's beautiful and smiling but tragically married and now the TSA is wanting to root through my bags.

See, there are no Wal-marts in San Francisco. Why? I dunno. Because it's San Francisco, I think. And I need tools for my bike in SF, so I bought the tools in Denver and I'm flying them out to the left coast so I can adjust my headlight, install my new gas tanks, tighten my chain, tighten up on my clutch a little...just some light maintenance.

And I've already gone online and researched this. I've measured my tools. They're all legit but they want to be belt and suspenders certain. So they're measuring them out very slowly and deliberately but eventually they let me go.

On the train, we're about to go and some random woman in front of me isn't hanging on and I want to tell her, "woman, you need to hang on", but I don't say anything and the train starts with a lurch and somehow she doesn't fall but you think just 'who are these people?"

Some Delta flight attendants on the train with me and she tells me my backpack is open and I wonder how I'll make it. It's hanging wide open which I'd not realized and I say thanks.

"Y'all aren't in some unholy code-share alliance with US Air are you?"

"No. We have a code-share, but not with any partners in the U.S."

"Well thank god for that. Continental is in the middle of merging with United...."

"They already have merged," she corrects.

"Well, I tell you what. You buy a plane ticket from either one of them and then you tell me how well that merger went," I retort.

And they all laugh.

We get off at Terminal C and I start up the escalator and one of the ditzy flight attendants gets on the escalator and just blocks the whole thing off, by standing in the middle of the escalator so no one can walk past her.

And the woman in front of me smiles, and looks back at me, knowingly.

"You'd think they'd, know, right?" As in, you'd think that a freaking flight attendant would not be so clueless as to block the whole escalator. But this is where we are.

When I board the plane, I sit by the window and some guy sits on the aisle and, I should mention we're flying Southwest. So, you sit wherever you want. I board first and get the window. Someone takes the aisle, and it's a full flight, so someone will be in the middle. The trick is to to find someone small.

So, I spot this smoking hot little oriental chick and I just look at her and point to the middle seat and, for whatever reason, she nods and sits between us. Her English is not good, but I figure I'll go down swinging.

So, against all odds, we land about 30 minutes early and he ride's not here, so I offer her a ride on my motorcycle. But she's going to San Jose, so she thanks me for the offer and walks out of my life and this is how my Monday starts.

Posted by Rob Kiser on May 2, 2011 at 2:02 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)