Revenge Paninis


This is a piece from Exiles, an e-magazine I publish every two weeks. If interested, you can get more info about it and subscribe here.

I take a bite of the panini that I don’t want. I’m unfulfilled by this act.

The panini was purchased with blood money; that is, it was given to me in exchange for a voucher that I was given in exchange for my silence. Or rather, my not-loudness.

That’s why they hand out these airport beverage vouchers, to keep you from going crazy with the thought of everything you’re going to have to change as a result of their actions. Your arrival times. Your ride from the airport. Your planned hours of sleep in between flight announcements and forced-conversations with talkative seat mates.

Their actions, of course, are to change your flights around and send you in search of the checked luggage they somehow misplaced.

I sit here now, chewing a bit of this panini that I don’t want, imagining my checked bag, carried by the clockwork of this airport, somewhere out there in the confusing (and, I imagine, sepia-toned) collection of springs and pulleys and steam vents, precariously balanced at the edge of some kind of sprocket as it monotonously rotates in time with larger and smaller sprockets that meet it, teeth-on-teeth.

I don’t want this panini, but I had to get it. If I hadn’t, the airline would not have been punished for the bad weather that made them change my flight and send my bag out on some wild sprocket somewhere, and then I would be powerless and unfulfilled, swimming in a sea of sprockets and springs and revenge paninis and security queues.

I would drown in the bureaucracy.

It would be tragic.

So I chew. I swallow. I eat the whole damn panini, because if I don’t, that means the weather, the airlines, the sprockets and the monotonous, metal grind of teeth, have won.

And I can’t let that happen. Not today.


  1. Those are some mighty fine privileged problems to have. Maybe I missed the sarcasm. In which case, carry on! :)

  2. Nooo, it’s all carbs and other crap stuffed in between! Not even the sweet taste of revenge could make up for it! Rather practice your scowl in the mirror, walk up to an airline official and tell them it’s against your religious beliefs to eat that crap, so they should give you a voucher for steak, vegetables and salad. That’ll teach them to pay attention to the weather… Very entertaining.

  3. I’m really trying to see the point of this. Perhaps I’ve just not had any travel horror stories so I can’t relate. The image of you sulking in the corner as you chomp viciously on the panini is uber-cute, though.

  4. While some of that was beautiful prose, I feel as a writer I should tell you that this post was rather hard to understand in some parts. A few bits of the writing were vague, and the thoughts hard to follow.

    But otherwise, beautifully written, just like all your work.^.^

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