"It's nice to see a man with a backpack," the driver said.
I usually have a regular driver to the airport. He looks like Big Pussy from the Sopranos and drops an f-bomb every fourth word. I requested him when I called the car service. They said he wasn't working so they gave me some other dude who looked like former Villanova hoops coach Rollie Massomino. As soon as I walked out to the car, I noticed that he was in a chipper mood for 6:30am on a Monday. He asked me about the back pack and where I was headed.
"Australia," I said.
"Australia? Wow. Never been. What type of work do you do?" he asked.
"I'm a writer," I said.
That opened up the flood gates. Before I could finish the word 'writer' he interrupted.
"Ah, a writer. I'm writing a screenplay based on a poem I wrote. About a sad lounge singer who won't sing anymore because she's depressed."
"That doesn't make sense," I said. "Most lounge singers sing because they are depressed. After all, if they were good enough, they wouldn't be slumming around in some cheesy lounge singing to a bunch of drunks. Now if she quit because she was happy... then you have a story."
"See, that's why you're a writer and I'm a cab driver."
He spoke the entire time about random topics like the CIA, the Bush Junta, and an impending war between China and Russia. Normal Monday morning topics that I usually have with cab drivers who are taking me to JFK.
"China will have a two front attack on Russia," the cabbie mentioned. "They'll go for the obvious move along their border. Then they'll go underground through India and attack the heartland of Mother Russia. They'll capture the bread basket and cut off the food supply."
"Then they'll take all that oil buried underneath Siberia," I added. "So they won't be dependent on the US or the Middle East."
"Great idea, huh?" the cabbie said as we passed over the Triboro Bridge. "And they get to control their population growth. Who cares if they lose a million or so troops. They have 1.2 billion people."
Somewhere on the Van Wyck, my cabbie handed me a copy of his poems. He had them printed up in a small booklet. I was impressed with his presentation.
"I carry them around. You never know who you might meet. I've had random book publishers in my cab so I keep them handy and pass them out."
I meet a lot of random people on the road during my travels. I also meet a lot of closet writers who are working on novels or screenplays. Somehow, they are all convinced that their story has mass market appeal.
Dreamers. It's good to see a dreamer every once in a while. Maybe this guy will do nothing with his lounge singer who doesn't sing concept. Maybe he'll get his book of poems published. Who the hell knows.
I gave him a $20 tip and gave him some advice.
"Start a blog," I said. "It's free."
The lines were out the door at the Jet Blue terminal at JFK. The kiosk self-service machines were down. I liked using that bit of technology since it speeds up the check-in process. Instead, I had to stand in the slow moving lines with the unwashed masses, where a woman blatantly tried to cut in front of me and I called her out on it. She blew up at me. I politely told her if she asked to cut, I would have but since she didn't and tried to shoot an angle, I called her out and embarrassed her in front of a thousand or so passengers.
Nice try, cunt. Now go fuck yourself on the way to the back of the line.
Security lines were also bad. Monday morning at airports are always a fuckin' grind. I eventually made my way inside and stood in my third line of the morning... that time for a chocolate croissant from Aunt Butchie's. They are famous for their chocolate mousse cake but their pastries are top notch. I wandered over to the newsstand and bought the NY Daily News, a bottle of water, and a small snack for the plane ride. Then I found a place to sit down to work on an article for the Swedes.
On my flight to Long Beach, I was seated next to a mother with a small child (like less than six months old). But she was a MILF without a wedding ring, so I was conflicted. Her baby slept all the way through Chicago. Then the baby woke up and cried all the way to Denver.
At one point, I developed gas and the plane was flying through a batch of turbulence, so the seat belt was on and I couldn't go to the bathroom. I made the command decision to unleash a silent but deadly series of farts. I let the baby take the fall and the MILF thought her kid shit himself.
On the second half of my flight, I watched the Dog Whisperer and got hooked. Amazing show. The guy knows how to control dogs. Then I caught up on an Inside the Actors Studio marathon. The episode with Charlie Sheen was great since they talked about some of my favorite flicks such as Platoon, Wall Street, and Major League.
Nicky picked me up at the airport. She was actually on time. She's habitually late for things like airport pickups, so I told her my flight arrived 15 minutes earlier. It worked.
We drove back to the apartment in Beverly Hills and grabbed a bite to eat with Showcase at Swinger's diner. Their waitresses dress up like slutty goth chicks. Ours spaced out a few times. LA waitresses are just unknown actresses who are shitty waitresses.
The table next to us were engrossed in a heated discussion. It was one of your typical deep, meaningful, and intelligent conversations on.... Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. It was totally cliche... three hipsters in an LA diner spewing off about... absolutely nothing. It made me miss the literate New Yorkers on the subway reading books by Dostoevsky and D.H. Lawrence.
After our mid-afternoon snack, Showcase headed off to an audition for a national beer ad. I relaxed on the couch with Nicky and yanked tubes while I caught up on the entire third season of Weeds, which aside from Entourage, it's one of my favorite shows on cable. How could you not dig the misadventures of a pot-dealing suburban mom? Mary-Louise Parker is outstanding as the single-mom/drug dealer. The cast is peppered with plenty of quirky characters played by veteran actors such as Kevin Nealon and Elizabeth Perkins. One of the Olsen Twins is in this season. She's playing a Jesus Freak who deals weed to other Jesus Freaks. I love it.
Of course, Colorado continued their magical run in the playoffs as the Rockies advanced to the World Series, while the Red Sox dropped a second game to the Cleveland Indians. I bet money on the Indians to win their series and so far the bet is looking good...