Monday, March 23, 2009

Planes taxied spectrally in the darkness out the window of Gladstone's at Los Angeles International Airport. A montage of NASCAR crashes played in the sky, reflecting a television high above the bar. The woman to my right ordered a gin and tonic. The bartender, a matronly woman who had once tried to act, asked for her ID.

"They make me ask everyone," she said apologetically.

"I'm two and a half times legal," the woman said.

"I'm three times legal."

A knife rested on the floor, blade pointing away from the dirty table where it belonged.

I peered out at the engine through the grated window up near where the Jetway met the plane, the turbine turning in the wind. Coming to a halt. Turning a little more. No one talks to you on airplanes anymore.