Hungry ghosts, powerlessness, and the Delta Sky Club

I got to the airport an hour early, and sat myself in the Delta Sky Club. If you’ve never been, it’s a slightly improved version of airport waiting. The seats are a bit more comfortable, they have little tables with charging stations between them, and there’s plentiful, if entirely uninteresting/unsatisfying/unhealthy food and drink. The crowd’s a bit whiter, and, if not better behaved, it’s differently badly behaved. A profusion of men mansplains into bluetooth headsets. There’s a lot of teen boys being groomed in this particular bit of privilege.

Anyway. I sat down in the Sky Club, an hour to go before my flight, my belly full with a yummy sushi lunch I had just two hours ago, and… I began to nosh. First, the little cheddar cubes. Then, a few carrots with hummus. Lucky for me, there are no cookies in this particular Sky Club. Often, cookies abound….

Shit.

I typed that sentence, look up, and notice a lipless man with a squash racquet, munching on popcorn. His blue blazer looks as if this is its first trip off Nantucket.

Behind me sits a mansplainer listing team member names to a subordinate. The names are all male, one-syllable. Four-letter. Chad. Matt. Dale. Chip. Jake. Dave. And, oddly, Jose.

I think, “I want popcorn.” I get up, walk to the canister of popcorn, and notice the lucite cookie container to its left. I was wrong. Cookies abound here, too.

FUCK.

One cookie, and four brownie cubes later….

What’s this about? I’m not, generally, a compulsive eater. For years now, I’ve restricted my calories pretty significantly, and pretty constantly. And here, I just downed a thousand calories in twenty minutes. And I wasn’t even hungry.

Something about this milieu triggers an insatiable hunger in me. Eating makes me feel… important? Maybe the opposite? It makes me feel like I’m being compensated for some bad feeling?

Those of us who have paid for sex, those who do, we do it not for the physical sensations involved in sex. We tell ourselves we want the physical sensation, that we want the orgasm. But that’s wrong. We pay for the right to feel… something. Some of us pay to feel powerful. Some, to feel desired. Some, to feel shame. Pride. Conquest. Important. Better. Worse. Kind. Generous. Different.

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