Travel Log: Putting on My Earphones


Putting On My Earphones

I hate traveling during election week.

I left Atlanta and landed in Charlotte. My connecting flight to New York was not scheduled to depart for two-plus hours. I ate a large burger in Atlanta, therefore, I was not hungry when I stepped off the plane in Charlotte. I decided to stop at a little bar in the main area of the airport.

The joint was packed. I found a seat at the bar. I ordered a beer. It arrived and I sat and sipped while I relaxed. I scanned the crowd. Some people were focused on their plates. The special of the day was fish tacos. My bartender told me that they were very good. I told him, “not now, perhaps later”.

A few bar patrons were watching the televisions that were scattered across the wall. They were just having a drink. Like me. The remaining non-eaters were all thumbs on their cell phones. Texting away. Oblivious. In their zone. Like me.

All vibes were cool. Until. Two gentlemen began a long, loud, slurred rant pertaining to politics. They were pleased with the outcome of the presidential election. I won’t say that I was happy for them but I stand with the provisions of our constitution. Thennnn…..they began to rail on the President. That was when my blood began to boil. I remember thinking, I thought about reasoning with them. I also thought about confronting them and giving them a piece of my mind. That would show them that I could spew out just as much shrill vitriol as they could. I came back to reality again. I realized they were quite drunk and any discussion with them would only result in fisticuffs.

I pulled my earphones from my pocket. I placed them in my ear. I played my music and drowned them out. When the bartender approached, I made ready to ask him if he could ask them to tone it down. They departed before I could get his attention. The joint returned to its state of cool vibe. I removed my headphones. For the moment, the vitriol was over.

Weary Travel Nights


i’m at an after hours place

to my left is a man who loudly orders
a redneck long island iced tea

he’s gotten my attention

i move four seats away
to make room for his posse
for fear of what type of prey

these hunters may be hunting tonight

after i move i hear the man to my far right
railing on the federal government

i can’t win

i call the bartender
bartender please
refill my glass
and bring my check

i chug my malbec,
drop a ten and a twenty
next to the empty glass
pick up my briefcase

and walk across the street
to my hotel

weary travel nights