Well this is a new one.
A range of massive thunderstorms moved through the New York area. The one and only flight home has been cancelled. The next available one is tomorrow at 11am.
At LaGuardia. I'm at JFK.
The airline won't pay for a hotel due to this being an "act of God" (I could debate theology with them but I'm far too exhausted.) Besides, a quick search has shown most area hotels already booked due to the storm and I doubt the college would pay for an extra night anyway. That means tonight I'm doing something I've only heard about in media.
I'm spending the night in an airport.
I wanted another night in New York City but this is not exactly what I had in mind. I've got a spot staked out between to two cadres of small children. One is a group of squirmy and thudding boys. The other are quiet little girls trying to sleep. That is except for the one who is crying under her polka dot blanket. I feel her pain. It breaks my heart to listen to her muffled cries. I'd like to hug her and tell her in hypocorism it'll be all right. Sadly there's not much a man can do in this kind of situation and not get viewed as a creeper. Oh wait. There's her caregiver. Good.
Why did I choose this location to fortify? An outlet of course. Got to keep my phone charged. If I'm not getting internet and social media feed, I go a little loopy.
Of course the way I've been lately I'd say that ship might have fucking sailed.
I've been texting my bro Bernard about how to handle this situation. He did a tour of duty in Iraq with Army intel. He told me to use my carry on bag as a pillow and to sleep in shifts with the other members of my group. The upside is that here I won't face the moments of sheer terror that he did.
But then the night is young.
The airline drones more cancellation announcements over the PA. They're actually trying to be cheerful. The guy's voice sounds like the one from Blade Runner that asked you to "consider a life on the off-world colonies."
If this kid doesn't stop his intolerable thudding on the table...
The combination of environment and extreme fatigue are contributing to a dreamlike state. Almost a form of sensory deprivation. I'm not asleep but not entirely awake, either. I'm watching everyone from a distance as they either rage against or slump resigned to their fate. I sometimes find it easier to pretend I'm not me.
I wonder if that might make conversation easier. There are plenty of fellow travelers stranded here with me. There are no doubt interesting stories among them. A good many of the women are hot, too. This unfortunately makes it more difficult for me to converse. Unless...
"Hi, my name's Kip Kensington."
Should I get coffee? Or booze?
Can I get both?
If nothing else, this time is allowing for more reflection. I'm embarrassed by the post I made yesterday...or at least in regard to its self-pitying tone. I say this as I think back to the Holocaust Museum. I really don't even need to go that far. The flight attendent diagonal from me speaks in an Eastern European dialect of one form or another. For all I know she escaped the war zone that was the former Yugoslavia of the 1990s. Maybe she or her family were wounded or worse. I doubt she'd have much sympathy for me staying the night in an airport.
Anyway, I'll keep you updated. For now, enjoy a bonus pic of the greatest city on Earth.