Sin - What is it?
Last saturday, I had a flight out of O´Hare at 6:05 pm. The Plan this time around was to have my laundry done the previous night, and packed etc and get to the airport with sufficient time, and not spend mucho dinero on a cab. My last-minute flight was costly enough.
As things usually turn out in this corner of our beautiful world, I ended up dinnering with two of my favorite people from the GSB on friday night, and the clothes went into the washer only around 2:30 PM saturday. All said and done, I missed the train to O´hare by a minute. Which meant a 50 $ cab ride. What´s funny - or About Time, some might say - is that as I watched the train leave the station, and was pissed about spending the money on a cab, I thought about Economics ! About sunk costs of a non-refundable ticket etc. The etc is because I don´t think anything else that came to mind made any sense.
But, it was a good decision. Got to the airport on time, checked in with plenty time, and headed to security check. There, as has become routine, the woman took one look at me, circled something on my boarding card, and sent me to the ´special´ security check line. As I proceeded to get frisked and my luggage bomb-sniffed, I couldn´t help wonder if there wasn´t something else at play here.
See, as I was walking in, the one-who-circled-my-card woman also noticed the book I was holding in my hand. It was a copy of ¨The Merciful Women¨, by Federico Andahazi. The cover of the book has a semi-nude woman with like half her torso exposed. No, it isn´t that kind of book. It´s art, man. Anyways, in a mutual ´you see my book, i see yours´ exchange of glances, I happened to notice the cover of the book she put down. It was titled: ¨Sin - what is it?¨ and a subtext about what the Bible says about sins and sinners.
I obviously jest when I suggest that she wanted to put me through the extra security check for my reading books with sinner-type covers. But, on a more serious note, why the fuck are federal government employees allowed to read religious material on the job - especially those who are incharge of security at airports? I seriously don´t get it. Would it be of any surprise that this person put every Arab-looking person walking through there through these checks. Would it be of any surprise that this person gave a free pass to a potential bad guy who didn´t look like one of the Bible-suggested bad guys? I know, I am making judgement calls about a person based on a book they may just have been leafing through or something, and maybe I shouldn´t, (or maybe it´s OK, because others make similar calls based on things like skin color), but it was just a tad disturbing.
However, this disturbing was nothing compared to the disturbingness of the book. It was filled with gems such as these:
The second possibility was that, because of the abstinence to which his remote dwelling condemned him, Derek Talbot might be tempted by the picture to indulge in solitary satisfaction, at which point, with amazingly good timing, we would pounce on the precious fruit of his forbidden pleasure.
Ewww! (OK, I didn´t really know it, but it was that kind of book :) I have to say, at some point, the whole thing was more funny that faux-erotic or whatever it was supposed to be. I picked it up at a used book store earlier in the week. In part, because of a glowing review:
¨Is Andahazi a writer touched by a magic wand? Has he made a pact with a demon: his soul in exchange for these little pearls?
Not too bad. But, I should have looked closer - it could have been a tad biased. The review was by an Argentine newspaper. And, Andahazi is an Argentine author who lives in Buenos Aires. Which is where I was headed. (and the reason i picked up this book was to read an author from there)
The security check cleared, I flew to Miami and changed planes to get on my ride to BsAs. The seat belt signs are turned on, everyone is settled, doors close and the pilot gets on the intercom. The flight is going to be delayed by 45 minutes because they blew two tyres on the landing and they need to be replaced. It was a full two hours before we took off. And, they came around serving drinks.
Aha. One of the interesting things about South America that I found during my previous trip came back to me. You need to specify if you want your water with or without gas. I was so ready for this one.
¨Sin gas, por favor¨