I get up at 7 o’clock, walk my dog and off I go with a suitcase in one hand. I raise my other hand and a taxi stops. I hop on and tell him—while ending my demand with a please—to take me to Chelsea. I listen to The Cure on the ride there and in twenty minutes I arrive in front of my father’s apartment. I wait for him and call my friend Ryan. We talk about the gifts of life and once my dad, Gilles, and his girlfriend, Kylie, come down, I say goodbye, and he wishes me a safe trip. I say “thank you.” Gilles, Kylie and I get into a black cab that takes us to JFK airport. On the way I begin to talk about coffee, and then we slowly drift off into a sweet silence for the next hour.
We arrive at the airport and proceed to check in. We have trouble using the self-check in machine and a man approaches us. He says “You swipe your passport like this.” My dad hands him his passport and the man swipes it in the machine. The machine digests the information and we thank the man. He says, “No problem. Now all your information is in this computer—from all your past travels to this upcoming trip. By the way, where you off to?” “Mexico,” Gilles says. “Well, have a safe trip.” Off we go to customs. I decide to take a risk and not take out my computer, Ipad or Kindle. My bag passes security and so do we. I start wondering if my bag passing security is really a good thing. But that thought quickly passes with the thought of relaxing in Mexico. We decide to eat at a diner in the airport, but first I decide to stop at Duty-Free and pick up a carton of smokes. I go to Duty-Free and stare at the shelves of cigarettes. Once I ask for my carton, a young lady who worked there, charmingly asks, “How old are you? You look like a child.” I smile, trying to reciprocate the charm and say, “Don’t worry. I am a big boy.” She smiles then, asks to see my ID, and I say, “You make me feel so young.” She says, “You just turned 18.” I say, “Correct.”
I return to Gilles and Kylie and I decide to suffer by eating some gluten (I have a mild gluten intolerance). I order French toast and a coffee. The coffee tastes powdery and the French toast doesn’t taste that pleasant either. I eat it anyway and Kylie eats half of her breakfast burrito. Awful house music is playing and I get restless. I can’t stop obsessing about leaving this city. I can’t wait for Mexico. I imagine myself basking in the sun with a drink in one hand and a taco in the other. What a dream—but a dream that will soon become reality.
We get on the airplane and I sit alone in the aisle seat. After some delays, the plane takes off and once it's in the air a sense of comfort fills me—but that moment passes and I become restless. Four hours till paradise. How should I kill the next four hours? I take out my iPad and watch Good Fellas. If you haven’t watched Good Fellas, it's an amazing movie by Martin Scorsese. I implore you to watch it when you get the chance. The movie finishes two and a half hours into the flight and then I listen to music by The Smiths and The Cure. Thoughts and fantasies run through my head. The picture of me with a taco and a drink only gets more vivid. Now, the cloudless sky is drawn into my image of Mexico and also the peaceful sounds of birds ring into my ears. I check my watch but there is still another hour to kill. I fill my custom papers. I do my best to spend as much time as possible on them. I even mess up purposely and ask for another copy. When the copy comes I fill in all the information again in a lethargic manner. I finish, and then check my watch. Half an hour till landing. I listen to music by The National, but after listening to the song, Sorrow, I get depressed, and sad, and mentally I make my soundtrack for Mexico with music from The Cure, Cat Empire, Arcade Fire, and The Kinks. I then drift off into fantasy again—basking in the sun with a drink in one hand and a taco in the other. The sky is bright and blue; the sun beams its glorious light only upon me; and the birds continue to sing. Suddenly a voice says, “Prepare for landing.” Finally I pass out.I wake up. Everyone is getting up to retrieve their bags. I begin to do the same. Then I rush into the line-shaped mosh. I check my watch. Its 2 p.m. After enough waiting, the line moves and I try to walk as close as possible to the person in front of me so no one gets in my way. I meet again with Gilles and Kylie—and at last, I have arrived! We walk as fast as possible. The three of us are smiling bright. The exit is near. Then all three of us frown. Right in front of us is a massive crowd of tourists trying to get through customs and delaying our road to paradise. We look at each other with frustrated faces.