Side A: Terminal B
Waiting for a flight to Manchester in a bar in Terminal B at Logan Airport in Boston, I was so desperate I was contemplating the demise of my cheap carry-on bag and how I would commemorate it once the final stitches split. I found small travel tickets in all the niches with orange stripes, airline insignias, and timetables pressed by folders and UK dampness. I tried to recall the specific experience attached to each ticket and the blurring worsened my mood: I never thought I would be in an airport in Ireland, New York, or London and forget why. So I wrote a song but it descended into woe-is-me clichés. A few months later, again in Terminal B but in a better frame of mind, I thought of all the travelers with doubts and all their discarded lyrics of despair left in Terminal B and I wrote this song. Listen here.
In England, you might find yourself drinking in a former church. This can be unsettling for those of us who grew up attending Sunday services and consequently have unconditional respect or fear of sacred places. Drinking one night at The Queen of Hearts, a pub in a former church near my residence hall in Manchester, I felt disrespectful drinking a John Smith’s at a table made of sleepers near where an alter once stood. It also felt comforting because I knew a vacant church in America would be instantly bulldozed to erect a Dunkin’ Donuts as was the fate of my former grammar school, St. Mary’s.
Noting the similarity of the Queen of Hearts and St. Mary’s, I imagined myself going to church here and how I might react to a man drinking a John Smith’s near the altar. I giggled to myself as I had in my childhood church services happy that I could go back to my childhood before somebody bulldozed it away. I found solace at The Queen of Hearts imagining myself as a child at St. Mary’s seeing my adult-self sitting near the altar wondering what the hell brought me to England. The kid in me reassured that things were going to be ok. “Sleeper” is just about that. Listen here.
Illustrations by Ryan Eyestone.