not labeled for individual retail sale

31.7.05

omg liek f=ma?? lol lol loll!!! wat wuz n3wton thinkin???

BANG.

The car door snapped shut, and I found myself painfully on my feet with one hundred pounds of luggage. Not far away from me was Papa, waving a feverish goodbye while stepping as hard as he can on the gas. He, too, wanted to get away from the sun. I could imagine. The only real difference between San Diego and Los Angeles was ten degrees.

My lung took a full sigh of hot air, gasoline, and virus-imbrued vapor. I looked around, still not being able to comprehend that I had made it this far. I am on the west coast. I have four new puppies, since news came to me that my imaginary dog had procreated with some bimbo on the street. I am a free girl, and if I wanted to, I could easily get lost in the crowd, speed up, and escape from the ugly cycle that I know as life. I am with you, LAX. *tear.

Now, LAX has always been one of my favorite airports, especially since I've taken too many rendez-vous as a little kid to Taiwan, which entails the mandatory stop at this lovely, international hizatch. I don't know whether my parents also shared my fetish, but if they did, this long standing love will soon break down. During my wait in line, I did nothing but wince and think about everything that was wrong. My memories were full of plush chairs, clean carpets, large digital clocks beaming all the times around the world – an overall feel of organization and creative design, like Target. Décor would be simple but unique, often juxtaposed at the passenger's vote and whim. Crew members would be pretty and elegant, not slutty and overbearing. A true, stereotypical airport where TV dramas were always staged. Instead, I looked upon an ordinary building, no different from any other in a smaller town, or even a worse city. It appeared all too much like its own ghetto, and nothing like IND, which I love, but to a lesser extent. All their materials seemed to be cheap and grimy and plastic, like they couldn't afford comfort. Everything was navy blue. From the floor to the ceiling I was forced to look at jarring displacement, akin to my room before revamp: pink lamps, dark brown dressers, soft silky curtains, but a postmodern rainbow comforter. No one understood the word variety, even when I used it in context. Scans turned up empty-handed, and still I winced as I dragged two separate baggages into the air-conditioned room.

Were the people in southern California really this pushy? Were they always so stupid and fat and impatient? We got into a line which consisted of at least forty individuals, and I stared blankly in front of me at a huge butt. Even though I don't really love my mother, she was handling another hundred pounds of stuff, trying at every moment to quell the larger one from flipping sideways. That pulled a few strings attached to my heart. We both knew she had suffered a recurring bout of back pain.

"Excuse me, but I was in front," interrupted a wrinkly lady that looked far too young for her age. Covergirl, no doubt. No, actually, she wasn't. She was from another line and, seeing a huge gap due to our fumbling, stepped forward rapidly to block us off.

Mother began to protest, because we were running late.

The woman waved off the English. "Do you have passports?" she asked, her face now wearing faux concern.

What does she mean, Do we have passports? Why, because we're Asian and my mother doesn't speak fluently? Because we were rude in claiming our rightful spot as next in line? Because we towed suspicious-looking luggage that were bursting at the seams from a month-long jaunt in Chula Vista? Because we don't use Covergirl?

"Of course we have passports," I replied brusquely. And with that, the woman's face fell and let us pass her without complaint.

I pulled my luggage away with much protest from inertia. The woman, now officially behind us, laughed at my attempts and hastily rearranged her face into sorrowful understanding when I glanced at her. Bitch.

By the time we pulled up to a Southwest airlines personnel, we were sweating from so much work. And, let me tell you, what a load of assistance she was! Her name was...well, I forgot, but I'll conveniently call her Savolowsky, because that's the only query Google says nothing about. At any rate, Savolowsky did absolutely nothing to direct her attention to her customers, opting instead to laugh with a nearby colleague over some stupid thing I didn't want to hear about, while interspersing important words like "Name?", "Photo ID?", and "Reservation number?" between vapid chatter. Um, hello? Shouldn't you be doing your job with more focus, and maybe a little enthusiasm? I mean, I'm really excited about asdf marrying too, but, I'd appreciate it if you'd help my fifty-two year old mother with hauling things up on the weighing scale. Bitch.

Eventually we were redirected to a policeman wielding several nasty things like a two-way radio, and a leather belt. He was nice enough to help us put our four items underneath the fabric tape that marked a policeman-only area. Thank you, Rubarbly Billy-Bob. You deserve a promotion.

I was fuming by the time I reached our terminal. I knew we had to get something to eat because it was noon already, and domestic flights aren't known for its hospitality or generosity. The only edibelría that sold food for less than fifty dollars, however, was McDonalds. I certainly wasn't loving it when I saw another mob of obese people struggling to tear down the place. I quickly stood in the third line, taking the opportunity to call my dad (Hi dad. Yeah. Yeah. Uh-huh. I understand. Right. Suxx0r. Why? Oh. Really? ...Truly! Gracious me! Forsooth! Et cetera! Wait, that was out of character, right?).

A cute little Mexican girl was whining about getting a toy plz plz plz in beautiful Spanish. Her mother looked both vexed and anxious while holding the child's hand. "Hush," she reprimanded, peeking nervously around her. A lot of families were starting to stare. "Muévete allá, la linea es más rapida." Go stand in the second line; it's faster. It was moving with more momentum at the time of the statement. Her daughter, nevertheless, had other plans. She repeatedly stood out of place to be closer to her mama. "Mira hija," the woman pointed, whenever this happened. At last, sick of reiterating, she counted aloud to present evidence. "A ver...uno dos tres cuatro cinco seis y aquí uno dos tres cuatro cinco seis igual. Oh, es igual." Nevermind. My line caught up a few minutes ago. With nothing else to talk about, the Toy Subject surfaced again. I finally gathered the nerve to turn around.

"Creo que McDonalds no se regala un jugete con su comida," I replied kindly to the girl. The mother's agitated expression dropped, replaced by a blatant smile, because I did her job. The hardest thing to do - ever - is to deliver bad news in the face of hope.

Unscathed, save for a penny. And what is with the 10-piece chicken nugget thing (later, I suspected that I only swallowed nine), a shot of sprite, medium fries, and two packets of barbecue sauce (one of which I ended up not using at all)? Oh, that's right. I ate it. The penny was for that Korean dude who had spiky hair. He punched in my orders with such pizzazz and efficiency. I still have this vague, tingly feeling that he just walked off of a set from a kickass TV series, like Trading Spaces.

Again, back to the penny thing. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why he kept asking for a copper coin. I thought maybe I was going to be rewarded for my loyalty to McDonalds with a cute penny that became oblong and deformed after vigorous pressing through a leet machine. But no, it turned out he wanted a little tip for his service. God-befuck-the-wha-? A cent for a tip? Wow. California has some really strange people. I should have given him at least a buck if I'd known, but I was pushed out of the way before I had a chance to even say goodbye to my lover.

*Sigh.

I still miss you, pennywenny.

So, we arrived at Phoenix after stale peanuts and cramped seats with, again, little brouhaha for us. I took a dive in a store with tons of magazines, took one look at something that said "Wi-fi without hotspots" (so funny, I happened to be searching for a connection then), and dropped it like it was hot. Like HOT MAMA. Only not really.

Then I wandered from terminal to terminal like some Bedouin with...a laptop. No luck. Better get some expensive Wifi bloodhounds, eh? Fuck that shit! But, connection or no, I was pretty low on battery, so I changed course and decided to search for outlets. I wanted to be able to read a few more chapters in Harry Potter on the long plane ride. This whim hinges solely on whether my computer decides to sleep or stay awake. My ecstasy built up when I saw one right above some middle-aged man with his daughter (why are there so many daughters in this airport noquestionmark).

With grace like one who is learned in the matters of social etiquette, I blabbed, "Hey, I'm going to use this outlet above you, okay?"

Without waiting for a response, I shoved my power brick into the wall.

...

Nothing.

No orange light signifying recharge.

It was then I realized that I had been fooled.