By: Lauren Small
*Excerpt from Where’d All My Fish Go
“It’s the weekend baby!”
A hometown radio legend, Stan Bell, would say that every Friday evening right before the weekend. I’m sure he got it from someone else, but I distinctly remember his voice whenever I hear the phrase. In a city like Atlanta, weekends are where it’s at. Festivals, brunch, parties…you name it, it’s going to be lit. Everything in the city is packed with people stuck in traffic and long lines, including the airport.
It was a Friday evening. I paid $30 for a ten-minute Uber ride to the train station for the train station to take me to the airport. I hadn’t gotten on a plane and I was already exhausted. It was 4 pm and my flight was scheduled to board at 5:49 p.m. and I was in panic mode. Fresh off the train, I was speed walking toward the Spirit check-in desk (because they make you pay for a ridiculous, carry-on bag) when I was stopped.
“Ma’m” “Excuse me”
Still walking, I look over to my left and there’s an airport employee flagging me down with orange, alert flags. He looked the part: a black and red collared shirt, black pants, with a red and yellow fluorescent vest like the ones school zone crossing guards wear. He was an official, power toting, rule monitoring member of the TSA and he was flagging me down. Now, I’m freaking out! Did I drop something? Am I going the wrong way What could it be?
I walked over to the side where he was standing, and he says,
“I just wanted to tell you, you look stunning today.”
It took every bone in my body to not kick him in his knee caps and risk getting thrown out of the airport. I scrunched my face and fixed my mouth to only say, “Thank you.”
I returned to my brisk walk to the check-in desk, ranting.
How dare your little, barely two-feet-tall, I can’t see over the wheel, arrogant ass stop me for some bullshit. I wouldn’t want to date you on my worst date. You don’t deserve to tell me I’m beautiful. I knew that before I left my house today. Men always thinking they can abuse their power. Don’t stop me unless my shoes are on fire, douchebag.