Thursday, March 26, 2009

The flight out of JFK early on Saturday morning had a distinctly LA vibe. A commuter plane of Angelenos returning to their sunny home after the dutiful completion of errands back east. I spotted a woman I knew ages ago, when the band played New York City. She's an actress who's succeeded in the margins; she's just famous enough so that you'd probably recognize her but you'd never know her name. I made eye contact at the coffee stand but she betrayed no recognition at all. It's funny the people you see.

I watched the line to the Jetway, waiting for them to call my group. There was a very fat black man, shuffling and lurching in his orthopedic shoes. He pushed a wheelchair that was loaded with bric-a-brac, bag lady style. He was speaking into a Bluetooth earpiece.

"Sir, are you going to check that?" an airline employee asked.

"Yeah, yeah," he said, and returned to his phone conversation. I listened in.

"Yeah, so listen. I'm with a rapper who's having problems with dem 5150 boys. That's Tony Yayo's crew. He with G-Unit."

I looked around for the rapper. Eventually he sauntered up, a fairly inconspicuous youth, and took his place beside the fat man.