Madness in America: Part 1

I got to the airport three hours early to my flight leaving the middle of buttfuck nowhere, USA. During this time, I was thinking about getting McDonald’s because I had forgotten to eat before arriving. Originally, the plan was to eat there when the bus stopped there but for some reason I had changed my mind in the hopes that the airport cafe would be open as well. That was not the case. 

5:15 p.m.. Read my watch. And the Airport cafe opened, I had spent 17 dollars on a beer and a-not-so satisfying sandwich that made me question this trip. Could I have made a mistake to go? 

A month ago I was invited to attend a First Amendment conference for student leaders. I had reached out to the organization sometime in the fall seeing a possible way to get funding for the publication I run but then after talking to my advisor about the possibility she said that we could have our funding stripped from the school if they give us a lot. So naturally I had forgotten about it until I got the invitation to go to North Carolina. I’ve never been to North Carolina or even to the east coast. So I said, “Why not?” And filled my survey. 

Air travel is something I had gotten used to since I was a kid when my parents would take me to Mexico, but I have never had to be up in the air for more than 6 hours in total. I had never had to be in a different town for a layover. It had always been a straight shoot and arrived within 3 hours. 

When I arrived in San Francisco, I was confused and dazed for a bit. It was my first time at the airport. My brother had been there many times and the only airport I was familiar with in the bay area was the Oakland Airport. They had a little exhibit about the history of an opera house in San Francisco which ranged from costumes to replicas of stage shows. It was something interesting and had me thinking if there have been other airports with exhibits like this and what and where are they? 

I had to eat. I went to the first place that seemed appetizing, ‘Amy’s Drive Thru.’ 

I had read a protest that was occurring. Something with work violations, but I didn’t really care. Much to the many things the Coca Cola Company had been doing with the murdering of thousands of people for capitalist profit, yet, people still drink their products because it’s good. 

Much like the feeling of home is to some people with a home-cooked meal. To me it is the alcohol that sets me in my right feeling and in the airport it hits 10 times more. It makes one feel as if they are of importance until the bill arrives and you realize that you could have bought a 4-course meal with that but the drunkenness in you has you forget about it. There’s plenty more where that came from. 

Once at the gate, I had made a few phone calls to prepare for my flight and for the weekend before I’m on the air. 

I set my earbuds to the side and heard my group number called to board and like a damn idiot, I left my earbuds on the table. Thousands of miles away, only later to find out that they had been taken by someone located in Daly City, California. 


It was already night when my flight had departed on the way to North Carolina but you could see some of the rural towns of the United States glowing in the distance. It looked as if there was an air-raid in process and the glowing lights were the burning towns. 

For the entire flight I did not sleep, I couldn’t for some reason. I even bought a pillow for the occasion, nay the necessity of sleeping, but nothin’. 

We neared Charlotte, North Carolina, and the sun was beginning to come up. It looked like the ideal sunset for all of the wannabes of online influencers–the kind that you have seen many times with a caption reading, “Living my best life,” or some bullshit like that.

The sun had revealed how rural North Carolina was with the swamps, lakes and rivers  that I would not get the chance to see up close. Damn, what a shame. 

When we finally landed, I had one main goal; to meet and it was one that was going to fulfill a bucket list. I was determined to go to a Waffle House. The Waffle House has been known for fights between the customers and its workers. A free-show with breakfast, now that is something I can’t pass on for it is my right as an American to do so. 

When I arrived it was busy. I sat at the open spot at the bar–if there were a fight I wanted a front row seat. I sat there waiting until someone handed me a menu and took my order. 

The waiter who was still in-training told me, “Ain’t you so happy.” I was happy because I knew that at any moment there would be excitement, to my dismay and sadly to say there wasn’t. No fights. No yelling, just people coming from work to eat breakfast with families. The food was ok and the grits really sucked. 

Being a native of California, we have some flaws in our laws, one of them being a massive taxation of tobacco products but in North Carolina, there is no tax so you can buy them for a very cheap price. It is my legal right to kill myself by smoking and I shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do so. 

I had done my research on the local transit system in Charlotte and had figured out how to get to the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Uptown. If I’m going to a new town and want to get an authentic feel of the place, why not get there the same way everyone else does? When I got to the station, I realized that I had only 20s in my wallet and not a single dollar bill could be found. When the bus arrived, I told the driver I only had 20s and she said, “Well there’s also the app that you can use to buy your ticket. It’s called CAP or somethin. You can sit in and work on gettin it.” God bless. Once I got my ticket, I was set and it was smooth sailing on getting there. 

North Carolina has the toughest laws against Marajuana.

 It is labeled as a Schedule 4 or 8 substance. If you get caught with it and smoking it they give you 8-years. Fucking Southern conservatives. I guess they don’t like fun. All they have is Hemp weed that only gives you a headache with the slightest illusion that it is giving you some sort of high called ‘Delta 9.’ 

I don’t trust it nor the people who had tried to sell me some reefer in the night streets of Charlotte. “Come on man, only $10 dollars,”said the man pushing me to buy his unknown weed. “Where is it from?, I asked, “from here man.” “Where is here? Is it grown indoors or is it outdoors?” The man’s friend interjected saying, “Man this shit is really good man, you want some or not?” I responded with, “I already said no and you haven’t really answered my questions. There’s also a cop car on the other side of the street so my sense of trust is below negative my friends.” They walked away and I continued. One thing about undercover cops is that if you ask the right questions they blow their cover quite easily and stupidly. Their methods are prehistoric and it’s a shame to their badge. 

Once I had arrived at the Grand Bohemian, I entered through the spinning door/ The manager and bartender greeted me at the same time as if they had rehearsed it just for me.

 When I asked for my room at the front desk, there was some trouble due to the lack that the computers had not been updated the night before and had whipped the reservations from the organization. I was asked for my name five times and the confusion of my last name was very apparent. Guess they had never met anyone with two last names. 

Afterwards, I arrived at my suite, a double bedroom full of the most luxurious communities that I had ever been in. The room was very lavish with paintings that looked like they cost a fortune and a view of the church across the street. “They have really paid no expense on my stay,” I thought.  

I had arrived earlier than anyone in the conference so I had a lot of time to kill. I could have easily gone to sleep but I was afraid that I wouldn’t wake up until the next day due to my mind remaining in Pacific Time so I got to know Charlotte by going to the museums as well as the bars. After seeing the amazing exhibits that they were showcasing, I was feeling parched and headed to the pub down the street from the hotel. There I had 5 pints of Guinness but was only charged for three. My lucky day, but I needed to sober up in 2-hours for the conference. I can’t show up in this state of mind. I’m representing not only myself but the golden state as well. 

Working at a hotel has its perks. You are more educated on how to sober up so you know what to tell guests who have too much to drink. It’s only a few steps and you’re on your way but it doesn’t always work with everyone. 

Step One: Sit down for a bit and if you have cigarettes smoke ’em until you know you can walk without anyone suspecting you of being drunk. 

Step Two: Drink water. Sparkling with a lime is best. 

Step Three: Order something very greasy and oily with a side of fries. Potatoes absorb alcohol the best once in your system.

Step Four: Treat yourself with a desert to cool down your mind and feel a sense of comfort. 

Step Five: Wait 30 minutes wherever you are eating and watch the area. Just stay put. Can’t just leave and have a rush of blood hit you. 

Going by the guidelines of what I know, I went down to the bar after room service, of which they told me that they would charge the room if I ordered my meal directly to my temporary residence. The bartender handed me the menu but I knew what I wanted. “Smashed burger with fries,” I said. “Extra bloody.” He handed my club soda and I sipped away hoping that the school would just go away. 

As I was waiting for my medicine meal to arrive, a man with a bright red tie in a suit,

 surrounded by his friends in blue-collar work clothes, drinking cheap piss beer and laughing so the whole bar could hear them have a good time. This did not help with my headache that I was beginning to develop. 

When my burger arrived, I devoured it completely until there was nothing left in the span of three minutes. The fries were next and my club soda needed a refill. The bartender came. “Can I see the dessert menu?” I asked, and he handed me a one. I looked at it and the only thing that caught my eye was the cranberry ice cream. I asked if I could just get that. “Let me get back to you on that,” he said and went to the kitchen. 

The group of hicks now were staring out the window like dogs seeing their owner walking up the steps. They were looking at cop cars outside the Marriott across the way. 

A white man wearing a cap and gray t-shirt is in handcuffs; being put into the back of the car. The bartender returned with the okay and I gave him the ok. Once I got the ice cream, I dug in; ignoring the bullshit happening in the corner of my eye. 

A few other bartenders arrived and they began talking, “I think they are arresting those protestors again,” said Bartender number 3. “What protestors?,” I asked. “They are always protesting about something there, I don’t really know but be my guest in asking,” he replied. I thought about it long and hard if I should had given my state. “Pay me and I’ll do it,” I said, and he laughed. 

End of Part 1

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