I’m on a cross-country trip today, so I’ll have to spend some time in one of my favorite places. While I finish packing, join me in a flashback? I’ll catch up with you all next week.
By Alexa Day
I hate flying. Airfare’s out of control. That position you have to assume in the scanner machine – I don’t know, isn’t that exactly the posture of those people in horror movies who are about to be crushed by something huge? The whole experience has driven me to road trips. I only fly when I absolutely have to.
So when I had to fly for the Christmas holiday, I remembered the very best thing about air travel: the airport itself. Leaving the hell of TSA screening behind and heading off toward the concourses is like that scene in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door of her home post-tornado and discovers that the world is made of Technicolor. The airport has a magic all its own.
First, I make it a point to hit the airport bar. You know the song, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”? Well, the airport bar is “somewhere.”
After I’ve had my welcome-to-vacation beer (or beers), it’s time to settle in for some nice man-watching along the concourse. I’m not sure what makes the airport a haven for hot guys. Maybe I’m just being exposed to a wider cross-section of men on the concourse, and I’m seeing not only the most attractive men who are coming back home but hotties from out of town, as well as fine gentlemen making connections. Maybe I’m just relaxed after the TSA nightmare, and my rose-colored glasses just make everyone look hot. Maybe it’s the high concentration of uniforms – both flight crew and military are abundant in the good ol’ airport. Whatever the cause, my last few trips to the airport have turned up a lot of … inspiration … for this erotic romance writer.
While I was hanging out at the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, contemplating The Men of D Concourse and sharing my observations with the Twitterverse, I found myself in this rather interesting situation.
Because I’m one of those who can’t just leave work at the office, I let my imagination explore the practical possibilities of this. Not for me, of course. For a fortuitous heroine with the guts to do more than stare slyly at Saddle Shoes and the well-heeled Gosling clone. Sparks are sure to fly in the potent mixture of anonymity and stranger danger that fuels modern American air travel. On the one hand, we have all bonded in some way through the shared TSA experience. On the other hand, since we probably won’t see each other again after this interlude on the D Concourse, we needn’t ruin these special moment with names. Add the time pressure that dominates air travel, and voila! Instant sexual tension.
But what would a lucky woman do if things started to go very well for herself and Saddle Shoes and the Gosling clone? What if things started to go well enough to include the tall hot blond?
Well, let’s be honest. There’s plenty that new friends can do right there on the D Concourse. Sure, people are all over the place, but they’re preoccupied with other things. They’re moving briskly along, trying to get to their gates or the train or whatever. They might not even notice three or four people becoming better acquainted as long as they all keep their clothes on.
Those not inclined toward exhibitionism have a couple of other options. There’s the airport lounge – you know, the ones coach flyers like me only hear about – with the deep comfortable chairs and a luxuriant shower. I imagine it’s quiet enough in the Admirals’ Club to enjoy a hushed game of I Never and some nice dirty talk.
There’s something to be said for real privacy, though. For that, you’d need a sleep pod.
The sleep pod is a relatively recent travel innovation. Although air travelers have been sleeping at the airport for years (I myself have spent many hours asleep on my duffel bag), the sleep pod is specifically designed for that purpose. Some of them look like the cryopods in Alien. Some of them look like the boxes you get action figures in. But Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has five little mini-suites on the B Concourse. They look like tiny hotel rooms. They’re not huge, but I think they’d offer three – or four – people more than enough space to really get to know each other.
I didn’t know about the Minute Suites on my Christmas trip. Even if I had, they were two concourses away. Kind of a long trip for a short layover.
But now I know there are sleep pods on B Concourse, hot guys on the D Concourse … and The Varsity on the C Concourse. I might be ready to move in to the Atlanta airport. I wonder what the TSA will have to say about that?
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