At LGA, the TSA agent and I greeted each other heartily, like we were old friends, joker types, ready for a good laugh. We both had big, curly hair. I think that was the connection. Wild girls.
In DC, the TSA agent told me she was blessed.
At LGA again, the TSA agent flirted with me a little bit. He gave me his regular old smile and then a follow-up smile. Gorgeous, big lips.
In Minneapolis, she was runny-eyed and red-skinned and her hair was a faded blonde, feathered, and down to her shoulders. I imagined all her tragedies and resented everyone who had broken her heart on her behalf. And then I forgave them.
At LGA a third time, the TSA agent made me take off my sunglasses I had been wearing to hide my hangover. “You going to make it?” she said. “Maybe,” I said.
In Austin, he was young and his skin was smooth and he had a beauty mark in his dimple and his hair was spiked with gel. This job was nothing to him. He cared only for the weekend.
LGA: No nonsense, barely a glance, not even a hello. So stern. Sir. Why won’t you say hi to me? Please say hi to me.
In Chicago, her finger waves were perfect.
At LGA, the last time, I will admit I did not even pay attention. I had my eye on the prize and that was it. Get me to Maine.
At the Portland airport, a TSA agent stood back a bit and watched us all as we waited in the security line. I looked up from my phone and greeted him. He had round, gold-rimmed glasses. He smiled at me, motioned to my phone, and said, “I’m waiting for the day when you all have humps on the back of your neck.”