A Flashback to Those Glamorous Days of Air Travel

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)


I don’t dream that much — that’s while sleeping, mind you — but I’ve been doing more of it lately.

I bought this miniature guitar to take with me to places like the Pacific Coast.
I bought this miniature guitar to take with me to places like the Pacific Coast.

There’s no deep-down analysis. It seems as if the 11 o’clock news seldom passes without at least one short feature on the nightmare of airport security. I used to fly 50,000-80,000 miles a year. I’ve been on four planes in three years, and they were all on the same trip. It’s hard for me to see how it could have gotten much worse, but, then again, it got worse and worse for twenty years, so maybe it’s not that surprising, after all.

I never had a flight as nightmarish as Riley Mansfield's in The Audacity of Dope. I dreamed it up, though. (Joe Font cover design)
I never had a flight as nightmarish as Riley Mansfield’s in The Audacity of Dope. I dreamed it up, though.
(Joe Font cover design)

Anyway, I didn’t have the dream because I missed my old job. Nor was it because it reflected a current confusion in life. It was entertainment. It was a suspense thriller wrapped in a madcap comedy.

Last night I dreamed I breezed through security and was sitting in the lobby, undoubtedly thumbing my phone (the modern equivalent of twiddling my thumb), when I suddenly realized that the reason everything was going so smoothly was that I had no bags. I had no laptop. I was wearing shoes and maybe even a belt.

I hurried back outside and hailed a cab, which took me back to the hotel, where there was a madhouse of people crowding the halls, struggling to get packed for trips home, and I had an unbelievable amount of luggage. For instance, I had both a guitar and a set of golf clubs, when, in reality, when I started playing guitar, I stopped playing golf. For some reason, I had a retractable flag pole — because who travels without Old Glory? — that I managed to stuff into the golf bag. It reminded me of a very small woman who traveled with a very large amount of equipment and was frequently on the same flights as me, uh, “back in the day.”

Did I make my flight? No. I awakened, and, after a few moments of utter confusion, I realized I was back in the world where I seldom travel anymore.

I took a few deep breaths and put some coffee on.

ForgiveUsOurTrespasses [444427]
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
              Most of my books are available here, in Kindle and print editions.

              The following links are for the print editions.

              Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a crime novel about corruption in high places, or at least as high as places get in South Carolina. Dad’s a monstrous crook. Kids are on drugs. An improbable rise and calamitous fall, written just in time for the Age of Trump.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

              Longer Songs is my collection of short stories, all expanded from songs I’ve written. Try them. You like them.

              Crazy of Natural Causes, set in Kentucky, is a fable on the absurdity of life, told through a football coach who loses everything and finds ways to cope. Most of the time, it’s Jesus. Sometimes it’s weed. Chance Benford just tries to get along.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

              The Intangibles is set in the 1960s, with desegregation, civil rights, bigotry and upheaval all around and a high school football team at the center.

              The Audacity of Dope is a freewheeling tale of an unlikely hero and his girlfriend leading the Feds on a wild chase across the country. Riley Mansfield is a pot-smoking songwriter. Melissa Franklin is a schoolteacher ready for a change.

              My sportswriting is mainly on display at montedutton.com. Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (a bit more irreverent and philosophical). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at TUG50.



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