Since moving to West Hollywood from Portland 4 months ago I haven’t yet made a trip back home. West Hollywood, even though it being very different place still has some similarities to Portland. You could say The Grato is to West Hollywood as Oaks Park is to Disneyland.
My trip begins like many do; at the Airport. I can’t think of another place with more unhappy people. Those that work there seem to be utterly fed up with the routine of dealing with travelers, and the travelers are worn out from the new hassles of travel like getting your shoes cat scanned. Even prisons seem like happier places; at least someone’s happy about shanking someone in the cafeteria.
As I walked down the aisle I passed to young girls sitting next to each other. It was hard not to see them as one of the girls had the in-flight headphones blasting AC/DC so loud that the luggage handlers probably could hear it. I found my seat about 7 rows back from them. I could still hear the music in her headphones when the plane started to taxi and she exclaimed to her friend, “We’re moving!” She immediately followed with, “I can’t even hear my own voice!”
I think I’ve flown too much. After you’ve flown a few times you develop a skill to totally block out the flight attendants while they give you the security and water landing briefs. I’ve passed that point. I still have them mentally blocked but now I play my own version of pictionary as they mime the announcements. “Ooh ooh, I know that one. There are 6 exits on this airplane…”
I typically try and avoid all conversation with the people sitting next to me as I end up wanting the 2 hours of my life back that I spent learning the intimate details of Auntie Mary’s family and pancake recipe. This flight I thought since I live in Hollywood now and it’s all about networking; I’d spark up a little in-flight conversation. I ran a few witty opening lines through my head but decided on “So, You coming or going?” I thought it sounded most like something someone would say that travels often and talks a lot with other passengers. He responded with “going to.” I felt like we were off to a good start. “Oh so you going for business or pleasure.” “Death in the family.” He said. We didn’t talk for the rest of the flight.
P.S. The Grato is the Gay District in Portland.