Part VI – Afternoon Lunches at O’Hare
From the Business Travel Log
The cavernous passageway between concourses L and H is vibrant with the movement of people. Business travelers, tourists, airport workers, TSAs, security officers and more flow in both directions. A few talk excitedly as they walk, others walk with earbuds plugged into their ears and some are like zombies, blanked faced, slowly trudging along, staring straight ahead.
I look out the tall, wide windows. Baggage trucks dart around airplanes and food trucks are raised up to aircraft loading doors by heavy duty cranes. Far away at the edge of the horizon, the silhouette of Chicago’s skyline stands tall.
I enjoy afternoon lunches at O’Hare. I remember the time I had meatloaf here in the same spot facing the same passageway and the same tall windows. That restaurant is gone. Another has taken its place and they do not serve meatloaf.
I was quite tired then and I’m quite tired now. Back then I wrote a poem titled “Meatloaf at the Airport.” Right now I’m writing this blog post. History does repeat itself, I think.
“May I have my check please?”
“Thanks for stopping by”, says my server 3 minutes later.
He leaves the check on my table. One sausage dog and a sparkling water for a total of $15.32 reads the long slip of paper.
“I’ll be right back”, he says taking my credIt card as he dashed to the register.
I leave the signed slip along with a tip on the table, grab my bags and I head towards my gate. The dog was good but I miss my meatloaf. I reminisce about the last time I ate here:
MEATLOAF AT THE AIRPORT
I’m eating a late lunch at an airport,
at a restaurant named after a notable,
noted, well known chef
who deserves redundant adjectives
for the food is just that good.
Maybe it’s not the healthiest choice,
turkey meatloaf wrapped
in a thin slice of bacon,
mashed potatoes smothered
in a layer of light brown, turkey flavored gravy.
The meat loaf looked like it was gently placed
by gentle hands on top of the potatoes
while thin cut, brown coat onion rings
were sprinkled over the layered stack,
topped with one last spoon of gravy,
just a dripping from top to bottom.
I have prime seating, facing main concourses,
two in the afternoon, prime space,
prime time, prime people watching,
truly, it does take all kinds to make a world.
I peer at the large windows,
gazing outside, I see several planes
parked at several gates and I think:
it’s gonna be a long ride.