December 4, 2009

Code bro

I thought I’d surprise my brother, who usually takes the shuttle from the airport,
and pick him up at the gate. Southwest Regional is a newish airport, whose
spaciousness puts me in a spacey frame of mind. Its service roads are freeways,
with exit ramps with multiple choices. I wasn't able to access the right path to
the parking garage until I had first chosen wrongly, twice, and had to drive the
big loop back to the main entrance only to return to the enigmatic trident of
forking ramps once again. Finally I managed to take the one as yet not taken,
which proved fruitful.

Once inside, there was time to get a cappuccino at Starbucks. And there was
still time to check my hair. So I set the coffee down on an enigmatic service
box outside the men’s room and went in for an evaluation and a ruffle. Back
outside, no sooner had I lifted my coffee off the enigmatic service box, than a
public address announcement informed everybody that the alert code was
“orange” and to report any suspicious looking activity. An elderly couple sitting
on a bench looked at me suspiciously.

I went to the news stand, where I was pleased to see that the new issue of GQ on
display was the one that had already arrived in my mailbox and now lay splayed
in my bathroom at home. I'm a pushover for cheap trial subscriptions which I
never renew.

Back outside, I spotted my brother from afar who, it occurred to me, bears a
striking resemblance to Denny Crane, walking up the corridor. I watched him
stop at Dunkin’ Donuts, where he stood gazing intently at the menu as I
approached. “I’ll have a cinnamon, plain, and a latte,” I announced. He looked
at me, deferred his surprise, in customary sibling fashion, and returned his gaze
briefly, wryly, to the menu. The flood of conversation then began and we made
for the car. “I just heard over the airport p.a. that the code is orange,” I said.
“It’s always orange,” he said. My spirits gladdened. There's another loop I don't
mind being out of.