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By Raymond Lesser

I can’t wait to board that airplane that’ll take me on my dream vacation to the golden rolling hills of California. I can’t wait to grab my suitcase to pack and have the fraying handle finally fall off in my hand. I can’t wait to go the department store to find out that the only suitcase they still have in stock is pink and has a giant picture of JungKook the K-pop idol on it. I can’t wait to find out that all the stuff that used to fit in my one broken-handled suitcase doesn’t nearly fit in my new pink JungKook bag, so that I am forced to go back and buy a second one, and then wind up waiting in the check-out line behind a lady who spends fifteen minutes trying to return a dress that she bought at a different department store. I can’t wait to check-in to my flight and discover that it now costs an
extra $40 to check a second bag, so that I decide to keep one of the identical JungKook bags as a carry-on. I can’t wait until I get to the TSA checkpoint and find that the pink carry-on that I chose happens to be the one with my med kit which has several containers that have more than the terrorist sanctioned three ounces of toothpaste, shampoo, and athlete’s foot cream. I can’t wait to go back to the United ticket counter to pay the $40 to check this bag only to wind up waiting in line for fifteen minutes behind a woman who is trying to exchange her ticket from another airline for a new flight. I can’t wait to finally get through the security checkpoint so that I can sprint through the entire length of the A, B, and C terminals, only to find that my flight is on time, but I’m one minute late and feel like I might be having a heart attack. I can’t wait to trudge back down the entire lengths of the A, B, and C terminals to stand in line at the United ticket counter and eventually find that there are no more seats on any flight that can get me to San Francisco until next Tuesday, but the good news is that both my pink JungKook bags should be waiting at the airport when I finally arrive because they made the flight even though I didn’t. I can’t wait to say, “To hell with this stupid airline!” and go and stand in line at the American Airline counter where I spend fifteen minutes trying in vain to exchange my United ticket for an American one. I can’t wait to finally say, “Screw all your airlines!” and go to the Avis counter to rent a car to drive to California. I can’t wait to find out that the only car that they still have available is a pink Kia which has pictures of JungKook the K-pop idol embedded all over the pink upholstery.

I can’t wait to finally hit the road, because a four-day driving trip cross-country is
exactly what I need to clear my head now that all my allergy medicine is in flight 20,000 feet above Iowa. I can’t wait to eat at one of those classic roadside diners where the waitresses sling Western omelets with hash browns and apple pie alamode. I can’t waitto search in vain for that diner that I once ate at just outside Peoria only to find that it is now a Dennys. I can’t wait until I get another hour down the road and discover that something in the Grand Slam breakfast doesn’t really want to spend more time anywhere in my digestive tract. I can’t wait to drive the next several hundred miles frantically looking for rest areas or service station bathrooms while occasionally doubled over with cramps. I can’t wait to pull into a motel in Cheyenne, Wyoming after an exhausting day on the road only to find that they lost my reservation and there’s a rodeo in town so that there are no vacancies anywhere within 100-mile radius. I can’t wait to drive another two hours to the Hideaway Motel and get the last available room next door to what sounds like a cowboy riding a bucking bronco for the next several hours.

I can’t wait to enjoy the quiet desolation of the desert, where my car’s tiny tank runs out of gas before I can make it to the next oasis. I can’t wait to finally get picked up hitchhiking after standing for an hour in the 110-degree heat by a group of teenage girls who immediately stop when they see me stranded next to my pink JungKook Kia and blast his K-Pop hits while arguing non-stop about whether he is once again dating actress Li Yoo Bi or is still with Instagram influencer Lalalalisa.

I can’t wait to finally arrive at the airport in San Francisco only to discover that my
luggage was taken off the plane in Cleveland when I didn’t show up on time for my flight and has now been delivered back to my house. I can’t wait to finally get on the next flight home and be reunited with my two practically unused JungKook bags and as a souvenir of my trip spend the entire flight trying to ignore an earworm of his hit “Save Me” that I’ll probably never get out of my head.

I can’t wait to plan my next summer vacation.


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