January 31, 2012

In the airport

I knew I had a long layover on my flight home, and I figured that I’d do some work or maybe write a blog post in the airport. I was returning from a Southern City where flowers were blooming — yes, flowers in January — and it was warm enough to eat lunch outside two days in a row. But I didn’t have my laptop with me, and in my dramamine-induced haze, the idea of trying to type whole sentences with one finger on the iPad keyboard seemed like too much work.

The weekend had included a Mountain Goats concert which was so much fun that I had briefly entertained the fantasy of quitting my job, deserting my family, and spending the next year just following the Mountain Goats from town to town. To compensate for my responsible decision to actually return home, I did no work in the airport. Instead, I put on my iPod and listened to the Mountain Goats for three hours.

When I looked up to see if the flight board had any new information, I saw the elderly woman across from me a sympathetic look and whisper something to her husband in a worried tone. That’s when I realized that maybe I’d been singing along to the music. It’s possible that her sympathy had something to do with my inability to carry a tune, but more likely, it was because the lyrics to the Mountain Goats songs tend to be pretty dark. I guess I too would be worried if I sat next to someone in the airport who was smiling and muttering under her breath, “I hope you die. I hope we both die.”

I briefly considered trying to explain to the woman how much cathartic it is to be at a Mountain Goats concert, listening to a whole crowd of people singing ridiculously dark lyrics to the incredibly happy, energetic John Darnielle while he jumps around, laughing in delight at the way we all know his lyrics. But the dramamine had sedated any part of my brain that had ever been capable of such articulation, so I just slumped back down in my seat, clicked over to the next song, and tried to listen without singing along. With the Mountain Goats, that’s surprisingly hard to do.


Anonymous said...

Could have been worse. You could have been singing HAIL SATAN!

Amanda said...

Awesome! No Children is our go-to road trip song, so we have the lyrics down pat. We thought it was weird that we caught ourselves singing it to try to calm our screaming 7 month old in his car seat, but the airport? That is just awesome.

Jeff said...

We had some flowers bloom in my area which was disconcerting for this time of year...

Ah, layovers, headphones & singing aloud. You probably would have made for an interesting photographic subject in that state. :)