It can be argued that airports are, by a large margin, one of the most disliked things in humanity. It’s on that list of “unpleasantries” and those other bad experiences no one wants. On par with dropping your ice cream cone, breaking your hoodie zipper, or stepping on a LEGO brick. Except it’s on a massive scale that lasts several hours (or days). A crucible that takes flight, if you will. A mighty battle in the sky.
But you’re not cool and this is not Dragon Ball Z or some Marvel comic, so it’s not as epic as it sounds. In fact, it’s so mundane that it’s the same as those weather-based conversations at the water cooler. How was my flight, you ask? How do you think it was, huh? Unless you’re Kanye West with your own private jet you’ll probably have to endure the following crap:
I’m not talking about that ridiculous Dane Cook movie (is he even still relevant? Has anyone seen him out in public recently?). I mean hours upon hours of standing in line. It’s like going to the bank or the DMV, except at the end of the line is more waiting or annoying verbal exchange. The only thing you’ll be depositing is your sense of excitement.
The last time I flew I had to wait in line for two hours before I could even check-in. Then I wobbled my way to my gate and continued waiting another hour for my flight to land and board. Staring off into the distance like a zombie, thinking that maybe you can have one of those “moments” with your fellow passengers. Develop some kind of solidarity with them (we’re in this together, guys!). Except that doesn’t happen and everyone hates you. A collective conscious of loathing.
2. People Are Rude and Distant.
For some reason traveling in an airport gives others a free pass on being an asshole, Or rather, they think they can be rude to others. People eyeing others in hatred as they speed walk to the closest outlet. Don’t expect others to hold your spot in line, either. This isn’t Comic Con. They don’t care.
God forbid you’re traveling alone and have to use the bathroom while at your gate. You have to lug everything with you to the restroom because you can’t ask others to watch your things for you. Odds are they’ll automatically judge you and go to the nearest TSA agent because you asked them to “watch your baggage” (which is against the rules or whatever). I once asked a girl who was around my age to do this and as I walked away she motioned to get up and walk away. Asked her why and she said it was because my “activity was suspicious.”
Okay, what is it? My tattoos? My zombie eyes? I thought we were chill, dude. You’re breaking my heart.
3. You’re Reminded You’re Not Jack Shephard.
One thing gets me through this whole mess: daydreaming. Now, I don’t know if I have ADHD or what, because it’s easy for my mind to quickly wander off to some fantastic place that’s completely disconnected from reality. In situations like traveling it’s one of the things that keep me sane. Interjecting some epic story to make things a tad more interesting.
We’ve all done this, I’m sure. Don’t tell me that you never sat in your preschool-sized airplane seat and made up backstories for all the passengers. Imagine what would happen if the plane crashed and you survived with a group of people. You imagine yourself becoming the leader of this group, saving lives and deciding how to proceed and handle the whole ordeal. Maybe you know kung fu or somehow developed insane parkour skills. You’re the hero!
And then the schmuck next to you spills their soda on your pants and you snap back to reality. You remember that what you’re thinking is absurd and you’re normal like everyone else. Unless you see J.J. Abrams on your flight. Then feel free to think what you wish.
I’ll stop here because I’m starting to get all ruffled up in anger just thinking about these things. Sometimes, it becomes so frustrating that I’d rather take a train to wherever I end up going (which is quadruple times longer than taking a plane). Maybe one day those superhighways will actually be a thing. You could live in Westchester County but work in London. Now that is some sci-fi kind of stuff. Maybe by then they’ll also have one of those laser guns. Then you could really be a hero. Or, y’know, just a boring guy with a cool gun, at least.