Where the denizens of the delayed dine, God-only-knows. God and me. Five
hundred and seventy two miles from my baggage claim, there is a bar. The
waitress there is cardable, flaunting too flimsy a skirt. If I were her father, I’d
tell her to quit with this self-exploitation bit, but I’m not. I look her only in the
eyes and order beer from Texas. She says that it drinks drier than Lubbock; I
nod and laugh knowingly, as if i know anything about Lubbock. My uncle was
once a paper salesmen in Lubbock. There’s that, at least.
Ignoring the assemblage of Flight 54 passengers, I find free wifi. Cassie
shares photos of the world’s largest Amaco sign. It is red. Kevin’s sermon
notes, or as much as will fit into one hundred and forty characters, are posted
precariously above Ashely’s galvanized slide of pipe dreams. Her daughter is
smiling and I find myself hoping that she’ll never don the dress of self-
exploitation. If she does, there’ll still be grace because Ashley’s good at
second chances. Lord willing, little girls make good on first chances, though.
A woman approaches the manager. She’s been delayed and, for the love of
God could she get some service? She’s neither invoking love nor God with that
kind of venom, and when the manager offers her an apology for the delay, she
leans in, tells him too loudly that she is civil rights officer as if that is supposed
to make him set some queso on fire. He apologizes as much for being white as
anything, and gives her a complimentary breaded onion. This appeases her for
the moment, but moments fly fast.
A congregant in the house of the delayed, I sit in South Texas.
All the while, I am omnipresent.