this particular airport chili’s

I still have the bleedy eye. My doctor said that it would take between two and six days to heal but that I was a “faster healer” so it should be closer to two. I like to think I’m the very best at everything, so I admit I got a little smug when he said that. Although then I thought, but how does he know I’m a fast healer though? Probably he’s just humoring me. You know, so I don’t get all stressed and bleed more in my eyes.

He agreed with the internet about it happening for no reason. I remain suspicious.

Here’s what happened to me when I fled the hotel of hidden and disappearing food:

I went to an airport Chili’s. First, before you shake your head at my naiveté, yes of course the airport Chili’s is going to be a disaster. Not only is this inherently true, but I know from experience that this particular airport Chili’s is a particular nightmare. (And let’s pause to shake our heads at the sadness of being a near-regular at possibly the worst airport Chili’s on earth.)

I also know from experience the airport Chili’s is the only place to purchase alcohol in this particular terminal.

Anyway, I thought I went in prepared. I needed wine, clearly, since I was about to board a six hour flight. So I ordered that first. Then I order chicken fajitas because I figured that even if the chicken was terrible, I could just eat the tortillas and guacamole.

The fajitas arrived. The wine did not. Nor did the guacamole. I can’t imagine a less appetizing plate of chicken. I won’t even describe it to you. You can use your imagination but know that I would probably have preferred eating whatever you’ve thought up to what was on the plate.

I asked about the wine first. And then the missing guacamole. The server shrugged. Normally, I put some on the plate right here. But I couldn’t find any. So I didn’t.

So I was left with tortillas. You know, I said, I’m happy to buy this. But I’d like to order something else. A manager was summoned.

“So, I hear us being out of guacamole is really bumming you out.”

(That’s a verbatim quote.)

I explained again how I was happy to buy what I had ordered, but that I was wanted to order something else. No problem. She took my order. Fortunately by this time I had my wine.

When my second dish arrived, it was something entirely different from what I ordered. I mentioned this to my server. He didn’t seem surprised. She just punched it in wrong. Did I want what I ordered instead?

And so the second dish was cleared from my table, entirely uneaten.

I drank more wine.

My third dish eventually came and it was fine. You know, airport Chili’s fine. But fine. They only charged me for one meal. I left a normal-sized tip.

My fantasy man of international intrigue did not sit next to me on the flight. Which was just as well because in addition to my bleedy eye, I had one of my more advanced flight-related panic attacks. I kept taking Xanax and washing it down with wine until – no joke – I passed out hard and only woke up when we were descending. Which meant my friends and family were at some point able to stop texting me that no, I probably shouldn’t make the pilot land the plane wherever we happened to be so I could rent a car and drive the rest of the way.

This morning, I woke up and made myself eggs and toast. I didn’t forget the toast.

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