Without Hesitation, I Pointed
I’ve had a short car ride to consider the matter and I have resolved that, next time, I will simply step out of line, open the luggage, and begin to rifle through the contents until you people learn.
But this morning, all I did was admit to myself that if it was a bomb, if today was the end, then I’d rather go out without panicking or making anyone else panic. And I was so close to the left-alone-luggage that I was actually happy that it would probably be instant, painless death, instead of painful injury, followed by opioid-addict life.
Truth be told, I only treated the situation as terrorist-dramatic because I like to test myself. Sure, the lady who just decided to stop pulling her carry-on right next to the 40-min long TSA security line was BIPOC, brown to be exact. I’d guess from India. Huge strike against her, and for travel terrorism. But she had a child with her. And she clearly was pissed at her husband. He was—somehow—the one lagging on the trip through the airport. In my experience, men usually drag their wives. But given the end of the holiday weekend, and given the packed nature of the airport, all I guessed was that she was doing the classic dumb-wife move of being mad that they might miss their flight (perhaps it was even his fault) and then compounding that anger with the fact that her husband was not reacting with the emotional interest that she expected. When exactly did remaining calm become an undesirable quality?
Anyhow, taken together, I was not afraid, but I was shocked. Dumbfounded. Who is left on this planet that is stupid enough to walk away from a piece of luggage at an airport?
That’s why I say that next time I will just attempt to shame the person by exposing their messy undergarments to the general public. If they haven’t learned nicely, then shame is the only remaining tool, in my book.
Today, however, I was consoling H- who, when we reached the “end” of the security line and discovered it was double-wrapped in a way we had not experienced before, had begun to cry. Despite my later-proved-to-be-accurate claim that “we’ll be at the gate before they even begin boarding,” I couldn’t prevent the water works.
Anyhow, that is what distracted me from going the “open-luggage-to-shame” route, and instead just notice it—notice it and focus unrelentingly until a worker came by shouting instructions for the line who then added, “Whose is this?” All I could do was point. But I pointed with a force that said, “That dumb mother fucker over there.” Then I laughed to myself and low-talked to H-, “I pointed! Ha. Didn’t even blink. Just dimed them out. Funny.”
Guess maybe I, too, was getting tired of watching a woman make stupid decisions after a long holiday weekend with one.
Oh well. At least you and I are ready for next time.
Don’t wait. Find out for yourself if it’s a bomb.