Airport Rhythm

The Miami airport has its own rhythm. Maybe I should say “unique,” since every airport has a rhythm. More often than not, it’s an unpleasant rhythm. LAX is at the top of the unpleasant rhythm list. It’s surprising in its awfulness, especially since Los Angeles has a decent musical history.

But Miami has a fresh rhythm… definitely a conga backbeat with a laid back rhythm that is easy to ride. It’s shy on low end, which is a little surprising, like a bra that sets off metal detectors. It might be a South American thing. Lots of high end, not enough bass.

How anyone misses this is only mildly understood. It’s the economics of electronics. Loud and bright, cheap and fast. The Caribbean is the exception: it is the world capital of low end. No one does it better. It’s a reggae thing. (By the way, the bottom needs to be big and tight, not just big. Ask a Rasta.)

I hear two people talking in Spanish. Good rhythm. No low end. N sits next to me talking in the rhythm of the South. She’s wishing her North Carolina kin a happy holiday. I feel like I am at the center of the earth… wherever I am.





Live from Mysore (the path to enlightenment)

Before you go most anywhere that you can’t walk or drive to, you have to pass through an airport. There is no 2-headed dog guarding the gate… it’s much worse.
The young man at gate 1033’s ticket counter has a grown-out fauxhawk… like the fauxhawk itself wasn’t bad enough. Somehow it fits his grey JC Penney’s suit and tie. This portal /gateway / airport is full of the unreal and obtuse.

A young girl is wearing a hoodie with “JUICY” written across the front in silver lettering. To fill out her ensemble, she has on a pair of rain boots, green/grey. You know the kind of boots you put on before you clean out a barn or ask your boss for a raise? She is standing next to a refrigerator that has a sign that says “Organic to GO” on it. It is full of Pepsi, pre-packaged Starbucks iced mocha coffees, Gatorade and Aquafina (Pepsi’s version of tap water).

I never considered myself a traveler but I have proven myself wrong. I seem to have acquired the ability to go inside myself where it’s real quiet and just watch as airport life unfolds around me. Even when a big guy falls into the seat next to me and I feel like I’m on the other end of a teeter-totter joke, it doesn’t faze me. Even the music in his iPod that is so loud I can tell it’s Limp Bizkit doesn’t faze me. Not because I am some Zen/Yoga master. But because I am a survivor. My silence is a survival reflex. Just as fauxhawks and limp bizkit are other people’s survival techniques. We do the best we can. A baby screaning in the next aisle is not saying anything more than “I too am surviving.” But, (baby talking) “why the fuck would you bring me here? I’m not even 1 year old. Do I really need to fly to Germany (our layover)? Couldn’t you have left me with someone? Grandma or the dog? Anything but the airport.” As babies, we are born geniuses. It takes a while—and a lot of school—to become stupid enough to willingly go to an airport.

There is an unavoidable panic that sets in when you strap yourself into a seat of a plane knowing you have 22 hours to go. There is an impossible amount of acceptance necessary. It’s like the slamming of a metal door in the West Hollywood jail. It’s a test of your ability to let go of the control freak inside. That’s when the delusion sets in and the petty complaining begins. “Oh my god I forgot to bring a book to read on this flight!” “I though Lufthansa had individual movie screans at each seat.” Just “Schimmweste unter therm sitz.” At least there are screens in the aisle. The last time I flew this airline I had been on a tour of Europe with a rock and roll band I was in at the time. I should have remembered they had no screens in the seats. That must have been a memory from another flight and airline, mabye Virgin. The movie Lufthansa played on that other flight was “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – 2”. How could someone pick that as a movie that could have the mass appeal an 11 hour flight needs? Only a German could come up with a torture that diabolical. The movie on this fight has not started yet. I am praying for a miracle. They just announced they are serving FREE drinks. I know to some this could be viewed as a miracle, but I don’t drink. I hear god laughing. It’s at me, not with me.

The movie turns out to be “500 Days of Summer”. I say yes to a miracle.