Quote of the week:

“They'd have to shoot me to get me back to Illnois."

~Abraham Lincoln upon going to WDC to become president

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Lone Ranger Flight Geek

Flying out to Orlando for this conference, it occurred to me for the first time that I am the flying equivalent of the pocket protector, medical taped horn rimmed glasses engineer. Last year when I attended this conference in Phoenix, I came home and proceeded to get the worst bronchial infection I’ve ever had to date. I’m certain that I got this infection from the plane trip home, with the recirculating air. I missed over 2 weeks of work; was borderline pneumonia; and almost put in the hospital. IT was the beginning of my year long on again-off again rounds of antibiotics. Not wishing to repeat this episode in 2008, I acquired some surgical masks from one of my docs, to wear. So, upon arriving at the airport, I masked up.
Additionally, the pressurization really screws with my ears. So, for a long time, I’ve purchased ‘ear planes’, which look like IUDs for the ear. It’s as I’m sitting, the plane is moving from the tarmack to runway for take off that I start to insert the aural devices, that it hits me, what a total geek I must look like. Now, on the plus side, people tend to ignore/avoid you. Since for reasons unbeknownst to me, I seem to be a freak magnet, this kept them at bay.
Once we landed and deplaned, I went to the bathroom in the airport (no Larry Craig antics), took off the mask and went down to collect the luggage. So far, so good. I’m tired, but because of the change in routine and the different pace one has at meetings/events like this. I’ll be masking up again for the trip home.

The trip home:

Well, so much for warding off the freaks. The shuttle that took me to the airport picked me up at 9:00 am. My flight wasn’t until 12:45pm. I arrive at the airport, mask up, get through TSA security and go to the gate. The gate area is crowded. I find an end seat next to some man, I would guess to be in my age co-hort, somewhere in his 40s. I open my backpack to get out my book to read.
“Have you ever read the Bible?”, says the man I just sat beside.
“Yes, I have.”, I respond as non-committally as possible, without looking at him, not wanting to encourage the continuance this conversation.
“It’s fortunate that you sat next to me. I’m just reading here in Acts about God’s healing powers. Are you a believer? Is Jesus Christ your personal lord and savior.?”
“No, I’m not and no he isn’t. I’m not going to have this conversation with you.”
“Jesus loves you and wants to heal you.”
“SIR, I’M NOT GOING TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH YOU.”
He continued for a bit longer, without me taking the bait.
Had I not been tired, and had I felt like a good sparring match, I would have said,
“The reason I’m no longer a believer is because of people like you, who think it’s fully appropriate to approach a total stranger, wearing a face mask/barrier, make assumptions about what disease I may or may not have and think it’s your right to come and start proselytizing to me. And because I don’t believe exactly what you believe, I am somehow inferior. I have no use for that type of theology or god.” Had I really wanted to get his ire up, I would have introduced myself as a Sodomite fag.
Instead, I turned my back to him, and pretended to read my book. After a few minutes, he selected a new victim on the other side of him, who was more receptive (or perhaps, less direct) than I in rejecting him.
The mask, my fool-proof anti-polarity method of repelling the freaks has failed me! What does it take to keep me from being the freak magnet?! Tonto, I need your help.

5 comments:

Heath's Little Fan From Half Way Around the World said...

Hey... RIP Heath Ledger

gay CME guy said...

Heath's little fan, who are you?

Heath's Little Fan said...

It's funny how I'd actually wanted you to know who I was by filling in my url, but it failed to link. So wtf. Just leave it that way, i thought. :p People call me "Licky" (my name sounds like that: Lik Yi) I'm from Malaysia. I was browsing my friend's blog and stumbled upon urs.

Thanks for writing a post on Heath Ledger.. What does you having a broken arm have to do with you being able to walk to the cinema or not? Lol. I was quite affected by Ennis's signature line, "I wish I knew how to quit you." I think it was said in the same conversation as your lines. Btw, I had to read the subtitles to get what Ennis was saying all the time.

Argh from what I read Heath Ledger was depressed because he didn't get to see his daughter often, and also because of the few movies he was shooting. It's really really sad. When my friend broke the news to me, I was in the cinema just finished watching "Sweeney Todd". (yeah, i think the movie sucks too). I was literally stunned for awhile and couldnt believe that he was really dead. "Did he like really die in real life, or just in a movie or something like that?" I kept asking her. Sigh. What a waste. It's a slumber taken too long.

I can't bring myself to re-watch BBM now. I know exactly what would happen.

We shall see if this time the url thing will work. Till then :)

gay CME guy said...

Hey HLF:

The url worked this time. Thanks. What made you leave the Heath comment? It's so odd, because, as noted, I'd been debating writing a post about it. And, there you were, giving me the nudge. (Carl) Jung would call this synchronicity or 'meaningful coincidence'.
Having a theatre close enough to walk to was the issue. As, I couldn't drive, and the jostling from taking a bus or train would have been extremely painful. I guess it was a strange tidbit of trivia not pertinent to the story. When I returned to work, and was talking about BBM to a co-worker and told her that I had a new mantra from the movie that was helping me put perspective on things at work, the first thing she said was, "Which line? 'I wish I could quit you?'" It became our own little joke.
While the autopsy reports are not in yet, I choose to believe it was accidental and not suicide.
Thanks for dropping in Lik Yi, and for the comments. Come back again

Heath's Little Fan From Half Way Around the World said...

Ar of course i will. I love reading blogs... i left the comment bcz u know, since Heath just died. and u're gay. So i assumed you would grieve over his death too.. it's kind of silly, but somehow I thought most gay men would like Heath Ledger.