En route the airport this morning, I had a shocking realization. I had forgotten my book. Frantically, I searched my backpack, hoping against hope it was in there, knowing fully it sat on the desk in the guest room at my parents’ house. Dangit! I was so excited to read “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” Aron Ralston’s story of how he had to cut his arm off to survive being pinned by a boulder. I was hoping to break my bad-book streak with this one… I’d had poor literary luck on this trip, and I was hoping the tide would turn. First I skimmed through Jeanette Walls’ “The Glass Castle” last week while flying from Denver to Providence. That title had been on my “to read” list for at least a year but it completely let me down. That book may best be summed up, “My life just kept getting worse and worse so then I wrote a book about it, I emphasized the characters, especially my alcoholic father, but I neglected the whole plot thing.” My next disappointment on this trip was Jala Pfaff’s “Seducing the Rabbi.” There’s nothing really to say about this one except that the protagonist was annoying, and the author went nuts describing the setting (which is Boulder, and while at first this was amusing, I found myself thinking, “I know where that is and what it looks like already, can we move on?”), she was another one who failed to develop the plot.
So I was crestfallen upon accepting the fact that I had forgotten what promised to be a really good, suspenseful plot-driven book. I could not conceive of finding any other book in the airport that would be half as appealing. Gradually though I warmed to the idea of picking a new one. Maybe the airport bookseller would have the new David Sedaris book. This prospect made me happy.
Something was amiss in TF Green Airport however. I walked past the Dunkin Donuts, past a kiosk, and found myself at Gate 9… But how did I miss the book shop? I doubled back and found, to my dismay, the book shop was under renovations. WTF!? I needed a book! Of all the times for the book store to be closed, why did it have to be the day I was book-less!?! My only options were those at the kiosk. There were literally about 20 books to pick from. Genres included cheesy romance (no), mystery (no), political (seriously, NO), economic (hell no), and Christian inspiration (good God, no). This would not do. I walked to the other side of the airport, hoping there would be a better alternative there but it was just as barren. Back again I trudged. The one time I actually had a direct flight, I wished I had a connection somewhere that would afford me a real bookstore in a real airport but it was not to be. Even though my flight would touch down at BWI, passengers continuing onto to DIA were not going to be permitted to deplane.
I resigned myself to picking from the meager options at the original kiosk. After much debate I chose one by Jane Green (chic lit). But I wasn’t sure if I would like it. After all I’d had my heart set on the story of a guy that severs his own arm, not a love story. I couldn’t handle the idea of being trapped in a plane for 6 hours without ample reading material. So I grabbed a mystery (I never read mysteries!) just in case. Forty six dollars and thirty one cents later I was annoyed but equipped with mediocre literature to get me through the six hour flight.
I boarded along with the rest of the B group (why why why can’t Southwest be like everyone else and just assign you a seat!?). I got comfortable and engaged in a lively conversation with the couple in my row. Then I read some of the New York Times (Sorry Dad, I stole your copy) before we touched down in Baltimore. As we took off again I decided to rest my tired eyes. When I woke up we were beginning our initial descent into Denver. I never even had a chance to open either of my new books. Some things were just not meant to be, I suppose.