Searching for Swimmers–Chapter 26

Jason stood in line at the ticket counter impatiently waiting for his turn. He couldn’t believe that he actually had to wait at a ticket counter. Doesn’t everyone buy their tickets online well in advance these days? he wondered. He knew this ticket was going to be expensive. Gone were the days of spontaneous jet setting, that is unless you had the income to do it, and if you did, you normally had the private jet to do it in. But Jason wasn’t so lucky, and he saw the irony of having to pay the price for his previous jab at spontaneity.

            “So, what can I do for you today, sir?” The ticket agent asked.

            “Well, I’d really like to get onto that next flight to San Francisco.”

            “Ah, San Fran! Good place to go.”

            “Yes.” Jason conservatively nodded his head.

            “Business or pleasure?” asked the guy. “That is, if you don’t mind me asking?” he giggled.

            “Actually…,” Jason looked at his name badge, “Jay…, I do sort of mind.”

            “No need to be a glum Gus. I can get you on the six o’clock for the low price of four hundred and twenty-five dollars.”

            Jason slowly breathed in and out. “You know, I’m only looking for economy.”

            Jay looked Jason up and down. “Yeah, that’s what I assumed.”

            Jason ran his hands through his hair. “So, just out of curiosity, how much is a business class ticket?”

            “That’d be eight-hundred even.”

            “You know that I could drive there for less.”

            “You really do pay for convenience.”

            “Convenience of going through inhumane security and waiting for two hours to get on a flight that sometimes takes less?”

            “Air flight is not only the safest form of travel, but it is also the most efficient and often the most affordable.”

            “I could drive to California, staying in mid-ranged hotels along the way for less.”

            “Did I mention the convenience?”

            For a moment, Jason considered doing just that—driving across country, wind in his face, desert blowing dust in his wake. Reason prevailed. Car breaking down in the middle of fucking nowhere. Cellphone unable to get reception. Crawling in the sand, shoveling mirage water into my mouth only to spit out sand. So against his better judgment, he laid out his credit card and ID.

            “One economy ticket—”


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