I arrived at the airport 3½ hours before my flight. The time sitting is a small price to pay compared to the $32 it would cost me to park my car here. Actually, it really doesn't cost me anything. Just time, which, at 22, seems to be in plentiful supply. It's not always easy to find a ride to BNA, and beggars can't be choosers. Cheryl dropped me off on her way back to Lebanon.
I sat in the airport Starbucks until I could no longer stand the heavy aroma of roasted beans and reheated pastries, and the music overhead—jazz tunes and a pop version of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"—drowned out my own thoughts. My stomach hurt; I just had lunch, a chicken chipotle wrap and Caesar salad from McAllister's. Maybe it was the salad. It tasted extra fishy. I used to love Caesar until Nate informed me it was made with anchovies. I'm not sure I will ever enjoy it again. I sat and caught up on work e-mails. (Just launched a new writers' Google site and getting everyone to successfully access it is a nightmare. They have a lot of questions.)
Now the pain is getting to me and I get up and pay too much for a bag of plain M&Ms and an antacid. I don't like peanut M&Ms because I don't like peanuts and chocolate together. Separate, they're great. Nate calls me a purist. The antacid is tropical punch flavored. Gross.
I claim a wide black seat near the column where I'll stand to board Southwest flight 984 to Kansas City. The flight boarding now from C-9 is headed to Orlando. A man rushed up at the last second and explained he is deploying for a year and just finished his two days home. Two days? I don't think I could do it. I wonder if he's slept in the past 48 hours.
There's a married couple sitting a few seats away wearing red shirts. Not the same shirt, but same color. He's got his arm around her and they're graying. I wonder if people who have been married a long time just start doing things like that—matching by accident. My eyes are tired and these M&Ms make me feel heavy, in a sleepy kind of way. I'd nap if I had someone to wake me. Travel in pairs if at all possible.
I like to sit and watch for musicians, not that I would recognize a country singer if he shook my hand. But this is Nashville. There's a cheesy recording of some honky-tonk celebrity saying, "Welcome to Music City!" when you walk through Nashville International. The man announcing boarding to LAX across the concourse is hilarious. Subtle humor which often results in delayed laughter, once people get the joke. My favorite kind.