Flying Over I-95 N. With Wheels Up (Part I of III)


Shoes are slapping on the high gloss waxed floors.  It’s 5 am. I’m walking down wide corridors, the same corridors where an hour earlier the cleaner worked his canvas in his blue starched shirt with its corporate logo on the right pocket, his dark navy pants, his work boots pumpin’ the gas-brake pedals of the industrial floor waxer. MLK, if a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. Michelangelo was here. He was.

Airports. The only thing clean, are its floors, and to a high sheen.

I’m dragging my beat-up carry-on to the gate, its left wheel handicapped from birth, and wailing the same suffering pitch for six or seven years as if stabbed with a knife at each turn of the wheel. You think nothing of spending hundreds for the latest gadget upgrade, but when it comes to luggage…

And the whispering starts.

Mother with toddler. Honey, tuck in here next to me. Cover your ears until that poor old man passes. I know, it hurts.

Retired Couple. Oh, Sam, look at him. He can’t afford new luggage. Should we ask him if he needs a few dollars to buy some WD-40?

College kids jostling.  Look at that Loser, dragging that shit-can around. And look behind him, like a Pied Piper, he’s attracting rats. 

Psychiatrist lifts his head from his morning paper to check out the bedlam. He could be unstable. No, he looks unstable. Can’t he see the havoc he is causing? He needs help. I should walk over and give him my business card.

I arrive at the Delta gate to confirm my place on standby.

Would you like to check that?

“Oh, no, thank you. It’s coming on board with me.”

“Sir, would you mind placing your luggage in here to see if your bag will fit in the overhead bin?”

It’s a snug fit, too snug – the left wheel catches on the frame. F*cking left wheel. If I had a hammer…

“Sir, it doesn’t look like it will fit.”

“Give me a moment.” Be a cold day in Hell before I check this bag and wait an hour in LaGuardia. Cold day…

I lean in with my full weight, the wheel bends, and then clears, and BAM! The bag slams to the bottom, dust motes fly. The attendant backs away covering her face, grimacing, her colleague snickering: Great!

I flash my SkyMiles Medallion loyalty card to request an upgrade.

Both attendants snap to attention.

“Welcome back Sir! We’re so glad to have you fly with us! How can we help you?”



  1. I’ll check to see if you are listed on the American Tourister Gift Registry and act accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave – go ahead and treat yourself – and treat the Delta ground crew too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Maybe bending the wheel fixed the problem… I hope you are headed somewhere warm and sunny!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Old luggage has character. Keep them guessing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. roseanne333 says:

    Dave! Tell the whispering to shut the F up!!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Was I not paying attention before? WordPress has been pointing me to other related posts after every post I read by the bloggers I’m following.

    I arrived late to your party!

    Also, if you’ve been looking for a missing twin, I’m married to him!!! Except it’s the right wheel.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Loyalty is a beautiful thing, even with a bum wheel. ☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The best thing about your post is it made me laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What *I* want to know is how you got the damn thing *out* of the ‘check bin?’

    Susan, paging Susan, I think this Valentine’s Day gift is a gimme…. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Be smug. You deserve it flying so much.


  11. Ha! A wonderful and funny story! But.. why do I get the feeling that the luggage represents far more in your life about letting go, than carrying around a classic that you love? Mmmm just saying Mr K ha 😬😛

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you for the screeching giggle DK. 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  13. uh huh, ain’t that the way it goes… ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Isn’t it amazing how fast your mind can travel?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. LOL! Talk about getting an upgrade – you’re lucky you aren’t on the No Fly List with that carry-on.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Good post, made me laugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Laughing so hard I’m crying. Those little cards can be pretty powerful. Looking fwd to part II 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh my, if I could count the poems I’ve written in airports … great place to observe, for sure. As for luggage, I hefted around the same WHEEL-LESS canvas luggage for years on one of those little carrier thingies I bought at a yard sale. Slung a heavy backpack on my back, heavy purse weighing down one shoulder, laptop dragging down the other. When the zipper became feisty on the big case, I strapped it all together. About 5 years ago when I realized the only way I’d really stay in touch with my girls was to go see them in their busy lives, I high-tailed down to Ross and bought hard-sided luggage: a big and small wheelie. Then discovered the wheels on the smaller one weren’t 360-degree kind of wheels, so my husband happily took it from me. Wiser, bought another. The hard-sided stuff is the way to go. They’ve managed to pop off the metallic Samsonite labels and have managed to inflict other minor damage, but 5 years and many trips later, it’s still well intact. Now I feel like a world-class traveler, wheeling along with the flight attendants in their perky polyester uniforms. Still travel in comfortable shoes and cotton yoga pants though – you’ll Never get me in a dress or any kind of heels. Yikes. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m trying to stop laughing. I really am. You missed the women in the aisle seat looking up from her writing notebook and thinking, “Oh, my, YES, and I’ll have my character rolling a noisy old carry on with his chin up in the air, so proud of that thing, he’ll never, absolutely ever throw it away.”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. so funny. perhaps if you repurposed it, you wouldn’t feel so bad about retiring it. a lovely open planter perhaps? )

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Giggle Giggle…glad you got it to fit! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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