Flight 54

Where the denizens of the delayed  dine, God-only-knows.  God and me. Fivehundred and seventy two miles from my baggage claim, there is a bar.  The  waitress there  is cardable, flaunting too flimsy a skirt.  If I were her father, I'd  tell her to quit with this self-exploitation bit, but I'm not.  I look her only in the  eyes and order beer from Texas.  She says that it drinks drier than Lubbock; I  nod and laugh knowingly, as if i know anything about Lubbock. My uncle was  once a paper salesmen in Lubbock.  There's that, at least.

Ignoring the assemblage of Flight 54 passengers, I find free wifi. Cassie shares photos of the world's largest Amaco sign.  It is red.  Kevin's sermon notes, or as much as will fit into one hundred and forty characters, are posted precariously above Ashely's galvanized slide of pipe dreams. Her daughter is smiling and I find myself hoping that she'll never don the dress of self- exploitation.  If she does, there'll still be grace because Ashley's good at  second chances.  Lord willing, little girls make good on first chances, though.

A woman approaches the manager. She's been delayed and, for the love of  God could she get some service? She's neither invoking love nor God with that  kind of venom, and when the manager offers her an apology for the delay, she  leans in, tells him too loudly that she is civil rights officer as if that is supposed  to make him set some queso on fire.  He apologizes as much for being white as  anything, and gives her a complimentary breaded onion.  This appeases her for  the moment, but moments fly fast.

A congregant in the house of the delayed, I sit in South Texas. All the while, I am omnipresent.