Tuesday, May 17, 2011

En Route

Licking the sides of my credit card, a stomach digestive advertising slogan beyond the checkpoint catches my attention: “Life has no boundaries.”

Rattle in my brain.

Replace ‘has’ with ‘knows’. Makes it more eloquent, doesn’t it? Less harsh, perhaps more clichéd, but less harsh and more eloquent. Now - Life knows no boundaries. Life, no, snow boundaries. No, snow has no boundaries. Well, maybe the snow fields. I’ve never been skiing. Stay on track. Nearly there. God, my stomach hurts, I definitely need to shit before I get on this plane. Speaking of which, I wouldn’t mind one final cigarette. Wait, you’ve nearly got it, don’t digress. There, digress, yes! And sir, here is the campaign I’ve been working on. I think the strategy speaks for itself. ‘I digest, therefore I am’… That’s better, Robbie, nice and original.

‘Excuse me, sir, do you have a laptop in here?’ The man was tall. The uniform and strong jaw spoke of authority. He towered, legs slightly more than shoulder width apart. Boarding school had trained me in identifying weakness in types like this, particularly in moments of confrontation. Go for the groin.

“Sir –“ This time his voice held some slight irritation.

What does he think I have in here? A bomb? You don’t have a bomb, don’t make out like you do. If you did they’d probably extradite you to Turkey on request, a nice looking boy like you, just to live out that wonderful scene from the Midnight Express where…

‘Sir’, this time sternly. Any minute he would reach for his side arm. ‘Do you have a laptop in here?’

“I certainly do. And love letters”. I removed the laptop, the lid of which I’d been racking lines of cocaine off only hours earlier. We had made them like snail trails, just to change it up a bit. “I won’t show you the love letters”, I continued, offering him a chance. Offering a way in. The capped head nodded with gratitude – gratitude for the offer, or for finally answering him, I wasn’t quite sure. I wanted to continue the banter, probe him about his love life. We were engaged in something. He would have understood my anxiety about smell and terrible fear of purgatory. I would have asked him at what age he started shaving and if he was scarred by the first time he lost control of his bowels as an adult, or if he had at all.

“You wouldn’t understand them anyhow, because Clare is odd. You wouldn’t understand the letters, I mean.”

Our conversation was cut short when I was shoved on by a hulking businessman clearly adamant on purchasing a bottle of perfume for his venereal disease ridden mistress. Enjoy, I smiled as he passed the billboard I’d just amended. Perhaps I’d write him into the next advertising campaign, changing the slogan to include the words ‘bastard’ and ‘liar’. Maybe his wife would walk past the billboard, the bespoke message I’d written for her leaking into her sub-conscious until, in a fleeting frenzy of pent anger, she’d wake in the middle of the night and cut off his genitals, or at least segments of his genitals.