Quick! It’s an emergency! You just got an urgent call about a family emergency and had to rush to the airport with barely time to grab your wallet and your passport. But now, you’re stuck at the airport with nothing to read. What do you do??
And, no, you did NOT have time to grab your bookbag, or the book next to your bed. You were . . . grocery shopping when you got the call and have nothing with you but your wallet and your passport (which you fortuitously brought with you in case they asked for ID in the ethnic food aisle). This is hypothetical, remember….
Wait - I'm hyperventilating - breathe - breathe -
Maybe, just maybe, my MP3 player is in my pocket. (Please?) I have two books loaded right now - When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, and God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. (Also medieval church music by Anonymous 4, some Vaughan Williams, a few songs by the Bee Gees, and 5D by the Byrds. A motley assortment, no?) That would hold me for even the longest flight.
If I don't have my MP3 player but I have money, I'll search the airport for a sweater and chopsticks. (A sweater and chopsticks???) Think about it. I could unravel the sweater and use the chopsticks to re-knit the yarn into something else. A lap blanket, for example, since the air carriers no longer supply them. No?
Well, of course I will buy things to read. Magazines, for example. Vanity Fair comes to mind, especially if Hitchens has a piece in it. And Rolling Stone, for Matt Taibi. And, of course, at least one book. Maybe some nice, thick historical fiction, like Pillars of the Earth (which I have not read yet), or a mystery. (Could I be so lucky as to find some Miss Marples, or a Harriet Vane/Peter Wimsey by Dorothy Sayers?)
And, of course, a pen and some paper, for notes, letters, or journal pages to staple into the real one when I'm allowed to go home.
(And, of course, tea from Starbucks.)
See? I'm pretty low-maintenance.