Sitting in a Air way Station. Ticket to my destination. La, la

“I’m sitting in the railway station. Got a ticket to my destination.” Sing it with me. Except I’m not in the railway station, but I don’t think DFW rhymes with anything.

I’ve seen _Super Size Me_  (forgive my formatting here–my tablet is being persnickety this afternoon) but I still get chicken nuggets when I fly. These are things I don’t eat on a regular basis. I’m no health nut, but being on a plane seems to bring out the fatalist in me. For all you Hee Haw fans, sing along: “Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep dark depression, escessive misery.”

Airports, I think (and unfortunately I travel enough to make this claim) have quickly become embletic of the American middle class. (In much the same way that a bus station might be said to depict America’s lower class travelers. How many of us have traveled via Greyhound lately? Where are most bus stations located in a city?)

We are mobile and that is good, but we want our mobility cheap and with all the conveniences of home. Restaraunts, convenience stores, haircuts, shoe shines. We leave one strip mall and land in another. Along the way, we sit and try to carve out a small piece of privacy in the noise around us, hoping we didn’t miss our flight.

And I think this is part of what really bothers me about flying. I’m 9 hours today without a moments peace. Noise every where. Announcements, people talking about why they are leaving their husband (maybe I just attract those people), men talking tough about business and business partners, a woman sighing as she’s working a Soduko, and the debate. On every tv in the airport. Really? For why? Is DFW trying to encourage political discourse before we board? Red aisle, blue aisle? Will the republicans in the audienc admit air traffic controllers should be regulated? Will the democrats realize de-regulation made it possible for them to afford the ticket?

I really love Simon and Garfunkel. “Homeward Bound” is a great song, but I’m partial to “The Boxer.” I even like the Mumford and Sons remake. Sitting on the plane, humming about railway stations, almost allows me my own private space. Now if someone would just turn off the dang tvs.

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About John Wegner
John Wegner is a Professor of English where he also serves as the Dean of the Freshman College. He and Lana, his wife, have been married over 25 years. They are the parents of two great sons who (so far) haven't ever needed bail money.

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