100 Years of Solitude
I'm sitting in this Jet Blue airline terminal. How JFK has changed over the years. To a bit of sad worn carpet with a lone pretzel cart to a host of fine "gourmet" shops, starbucks, even a spa where one can get a manicure or a massage while waiting for a flight. College students, you know the ones I am trying to escape from, are sprawled all over the terminal-sitting on the itchy carpet, taking up chairs with their backpacks and plastic beach bags stuffed to overflowing with barely there bikinis and ass skimming skirts. They are reading copies of US and Elle, some of the guys look over "Men's" magazines with rappers on the cover. I am trying to be very Zen. I am trying not to judge, not to be contemptuous. I am trying to yes to the me that is on this adventure and realize that we are all in this together, and no I don't mean the terminal. I am trying not to feel superior when I take out my worn copy of 100 Years of Solitude. I am trying not to wonder- "How the hell do these people function? How do they not feel the howling void of existence? How do they effectively dissolve their anxiety in tylenol pm and manicures?"

I am trying not to feel jealous.

In an airport terminal 100 Years of Solitude sounds like heaven-100 years free of mother's with GAP babies navigating strollers the size of SUVs, 100 years away from the guys who hiss "Psst hey shorty" as you look for your gate, 100 years away from the deafening howl of ringtones and having an arm rest all to myself instead of attempting to share it with the middle aged man who has unfurled his New York Times almost directly into my lap, 100 years not to be shaking with the anxiety about being picked up at the airport by a guy I haven't seen in a year.

"So what's going on with you?" he asks. He asked me that the night before. I had told him about my friend David dying, Arthur's heart attack, and my applications to grad school, ( I omitted my cavorting in Paris and my dalliances with epileptic school teachers and phone phobic programmers). How much did he expect?

"My gay husband asked me to marry him." My gay husband holding my hand on a clear, but moonless night. Him sobbing about not being able to go to his mother's funeral because of immigration issues. Tears still on his cheeks, "I will love you no matter what you decide, but can you help me?" A week before I leave, he calls me late at night,"I need to talk to you about that situation we discussed earlier. Time is running out." Me taking a tylenol pm so I can sleep, so I can not think about what it means to marry a man for a green card. One of the many things I am running to Palm Beach to get away from and now I bring it up to entertain a racist in a jag.

"Wait, your gay husband?" "Yes, you know he's like a husband. Buys me perfume, leaves me nice messages when I am away, orders my drinks, but he is gay." "But he wants to marry you." I am hoping the disbelief in his voice is not because he can't imagine anyone wanting to marry me. "Yes, for immigration reasons." The sound of my hair in the warm wind. "You aren't actually considering it? I mean what would you get out of it?"

"You mean aside from doing something nice for someone I care about?"

"Yes." He didn't even have to think about it. It was pure insanity to him. All acts measured by personal gain.

I looked at the ocean, blue with white caps, a couple of surfers paddling up to the next crest. A large pink church with a pink cross to the left. "You have strange friends."

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in it."


I look into the rearview mirror to avoid making a face. This is what America has wrought, success without education, consumption without culture, idiocy without the self awareness to be emabrassed.

"It's from Hamlet."

I am trying not to judge, but am I judging?


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