Flying. Not at the top of my favorite things list.
In the past, the bar has been my saving grace. Waiting for my flight, delayed or not, never seemed too bad with a double vodka cran in hand. I forgot what a big role drinking played in my travels. It’s a time killer, a tension ease-er, and a first class way to knock yourself the fuck out.
Last year, as I waited for my flight back to NYC, I slammed five Bloody Marys at Gustav’s in PDX. The guy sitting next to me paid my tab after we’d only chatted a few minutes. I told him that wasn’t necessary, as I reached for my credit card. But, he insisted, saying that no one should be so miserable for Christmas. He wished me a happy holiday, and disappeared onto the plane.
Obviously, I was wasted already. But, as soon as we were in the air, and the clink-clank of the beverage cart became audible, I reached for my wallet. A perk of being an American Express JetBlue credit card holder is, during the holidays, you get an alcoholic beverage on the house. And, this was a great perk, it meant that I’d only have to pay for three of the little SKYY vodka bottles that would make up my two, double vodka sodas.
Then, I’d pass out. Fast forward to waking up in NYC, with a massive headache, sweating, and smelling like a distillery. Then, on to the epic cab line.
This year, the bar beckoned. Happy holiday travelers sitting at the Gustav’s bar, sipping overpriced pints of beer. Smiling, laughing. It all looked so festive. And, I was suddenly hit with a massive wave of depression. I didn’t want to be the girl with her Venti Gingerbread Latte from Starbucks and her crochet bag, sitting at the gate like a lonely child. So, I relocated to the center of the terminal where a guy was playing a baby grand piano, singing shitty arrangement’s of pop and holiday songs. And, I cried.
I cried in the middle of the airport. Surrounded by my pile of bags, smiling grandparents, laughing lovers, and overactive children in their holiday pajamas. The guy playing the piano looked over at me sadly. I’m sure he’d seen, like, two hundred versions of me since the holiday rat race began. The lone, miserable traveler.
My flight was delayed. Of course. So, I sat and reveled in my pity for another hour.
Then, I boarded the plane, and made my best attempt to let the misery go. It was time to go home. To leave some of this pain behind me as I sailed through the sky.
The beverage cart commenced it’s clink-clanking and, for the first time in years, I ordered a plain club soda. I washed back my sleeping meds. And, I slept.
And, what do you know? When I woke up, I was back in NYC. Alert and alive as ever. Fresh as a daisy.