I just got home from five days in absolute “paradise.” Clear water, boat rides, adventure, diving, nurse shark sightings, couple fun waves, good friends, dark rum and cold mini beers whenever I needed. A quick jaunt to recharge. I read some books, rode some waves, danced in the Third World discotheque, ordered foreign foods in foreign languages. Everything perfect and fun. But you know what I remember most? The fucking beer I drank at the airport before my flight.
I don’t know what it is. I love them. The anticipation in those bubbles. The eye candy and humanity in the terminal, steady-eyed and bustling by as you sip. Your own headful of what’s to come. What was. What could be. The foreign languages dance past. The slovenly humanity and the beauty in them too. The ridiculous price you must pay for these beers and how happy I am to pony up — all this blending into an enthusiasm that reveals itself as a silly grin and the happy chills running down my spine. And despite the depressing tile of LAX and all that make it a nightmare, to me, with that airport beer in hand, it is pure romance. The reward waiting for you after being fondled through security and sweating through TSA in socks…all of it just part of the journey to get to that drink, that short instant of relaxation before you board the plane and hurl yourself 35,000 feet above the ground with a pack of strangers watching movies you never thought you’d actually see, let alone cry at.
I will take them alone and with friends and I will buy yours if we are ever travel comrades.
Today, I toast to you, my airport beer. —Travis