Christmas at LaGuardia

Flying to Louisiana for the Holidays: The car service comes once two hours early and again twenty minutes late. The driver is a small Japanese man in his fifties and gives a little bow and says that we are so kind when we don’t give him any attitude. The above line I wouldn’t allow in fiction, too stereotypical or maybe even racist but because it happened I’m leaving it in. As soon as the car was packed, he pardoned himself and ran down the block to the car service office for ten minutes. We seriously considered taking the car as the keys were dangling in the ignition. We spent the ten minutes imagining this road trip to Louisana in a Lincoln Town Car. He comes back, another slight bow, his right hand a fist and the left covering the fist. We are off, sort of. He doesn’t know where the BQE is. This is from a spot where I could throw a Frisbee and have it land on the Prospect Expressway. Another apology, he is new to the neighborhood.

Sky Cab’s: Always do the sky cabs. Always. Even if you are by yourself and you only have one suitcase to check. A good sky cab imparts 7-8 hours of good luck.

At LaGuardia, we start to get into a short line and look up to discover that that short line is the very tip of the serpent. We are in a good mood though and laugh at our foolishness. And walk, and walk, and walk until we find the end.  L is reading and A is creating teddy bears on the I-phone. It is the kind of crowd that fascinates me. Anyone could be in it, school mates, co-workers, neighbors, tourists. I’m scanning their faces looking for that one person I know whose very happening into that moment could make a better story of this long line. No luck and no belt either, so I keep having to pull my pants up. Trudge, trudge, pull pants up. Trudge, trudge…. The line is moving and the airport is pulling people out of line with earlier flight times. Young beautiful people keep showing up woefully late but the system is caring for them. The sensible guy up front is telling someone to calm down. You never know when you’ll need this. Everyone is decent and beautiful. I think I love mankind for a moment. You, dear reader, especially if you know me, are waiting for the grim note now, for me to describe something terrible with a pigeon and a mouse or some bit of meanness between people. But the niceness continues. I have to stand with arms spread out for three seconds while they scan my body and they are so nice about things that I really don’t mind that my most intimate parts, unexcited and skeptical as they are at that instant, probably even in some kind of defensive airport retraction mode, are broadcast halfway across the world like little Mikey TV from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Merry Christmas Y’all.

Here are two Christmas links:

Ken Wheaton guardian of the Christmas spirit describes a trip to Radio City Music Hall:

Robert Earl Keen Jr. sings my favorite Christmas song. Maybe one day this song will get the stop motion Christmas special treatment:


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