Off The Rails

My disdain for summer air travel burns deep and slow inside the dark maligned chamber of my soul. Churning sour reactions, PTSD (Post Thunderstorm Shitshow Disaster), and a bad attitude. With about an hour to kill between rail and air, I lingered in South Station to intentionally procrastinate my arrival at Boston Logan. Alaska Airlines has succeeded in finding the absolute worst departure gate and terminal pairing. C 41.

Gates C40, 41, and 42 have their own security line. They lie unconnected to the rest of the airport. Ostracized from the C terminal’s 39 other gates and services, gate C41 has exactly one restroom, a small cart selling $9.00 Aquifina, and insufficient fire code capacity to accommodate standing room for a full flight. I hate flying Alaska Airlines out of Boston.

No line…. For a good reason.
If you save your nine bucks on the water you can avoid the urinal line in the men’s room.

Diana and I stayed up much too late last night watching the Red Sox come back on the Yankees to sweep a four game home-stand in extra innings. The Mews, our local tavern, was full of friends yearning to head home but glued to an ugly meltdown by Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in the 9th. It would have been blasphemous to forsake such a turn of events, and we collectively high-fived our entire crowd as Benintendi singled home the walk-off run. These are the quintessential New England moments that can’t be replicated in Alaska.

Alaska. Right. I still need to get back there… Our morning arrived considerably too early and far too hot. I jumped into action to prepare for the return of our inept countertop crew coming to install the backsplash. Copper window boxes needed drilling to fix them to brackets, and I needed to collect the few remaining items in my possession for imminent departure from Kingston Station. Time to leave. Again.

I’m not sure why I favor train travel over airplanes. Amtrak doesn’t operate with the efficiency of Deutsche Bahn, but I like to watch the world go by at ground level. The “30,000 foot view,” stolen as an en vogue corporate platitude, leaves something to be desired. I like to move around the cabin…a lot. That, coupled with the fact that a historic train station easily beats a fashionable new airport, have me wishing the Alcan had it’s own version of the Orient Express.

I’m now sitting on a 737-800 waiting for a tiny propane-fueled tractor to separate our 138 foot long aluminum tube from the most uniquely detestable gate in airport history. Not surprisingly, we’re delayed. Problems with our paperwork. As I sit in apprehensive semi-comfort, Diana is slaving over a mulch mound in 100 degree temperatures. I’d happily trade places. Something about the visible progress of physical labor eclipses the absurdity of air travel. After seeing the evolution Diana has made, I desperately want on that train.

So this happened after I left…


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