I took a long last drag from my cigarette and doused it in the receptacle by the front of the doors. It would be at least ten hours till the next one. I had two hours till takeoff, but I figured I better check in now considering what happened on my last flight out of Frankfurt in 2019. Orage had dropped me off at the airport at about one in the morning. The flight was at nine, so I made my way upstairs through the deserted airport and drank overpriced beer in front of an all-night McDonalds at a table in a German café across from it. At first it was just the barmaid, an attractive young fräulein who spoke little English, and I. But we were soon joined by a very strange man who hovered at the periphery of the cafe playing peekaboo behind the copious artificial plants demarcating its perimeter. Even though the temperature was in the mid-fifties outside, inside he was wearing a heavy winter snorkel coat with the hood pulled over his face. He had a shopping bag presumably to transport the days treasures he had found while foraging the airport. When I tried to take a picture with my phone, he quickly ducked behind a plastic palm tree. When the barmaid came over to replenish my beer, I pointed him out to her, and we both laughed. She said in halting English that she had already called her boyfriend and he was on his way. The boyfriend was there within ten minutes and the bum or whatever he was no longer liked the odds and shuffled off into the night. I’d had at least a half a dozen beers by then so I made my way back downstairs intent on getting some much-needed sleep in the chairs in front of my Delta / Air France check-in gate, which would open in a few hours. I woke up to some women setting up for Delta and when I inquired as to when they’d be open, I was told within the hour. I went back upstairs and had a particularly vile, even for McDonalds, “egg sandwich…” When I came back down, I got my boarding pass and the same woman who had told me they would be open within the hour was standing in front of the check in gate. She’d been waiting for me and told me that I had been selected for additional security screening and she was the “head of security.” My flight would be delayed till 11 AM and I should arrive at boarding for nine to compensate for the additional time it would take. She suspiciously asked me how long I had been in Germany, and I told her a month. She asked me what I had been doing in that time. When I told her that I was a well-known writer who wrote under the name of Jack Heart, doing research she became particularly interested and asked me what I wrote […]
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