It’s 6:25 Sunday evening and my driver isn’t here yet. That’s quite unusual because they usually arrive at least 15 minutes before the pick-up time, which is five minutes from now. I don’t mind however, because I have some type of neurosis which makes me anxious when I know people are waiting for me.
Oh, he’s finally here. He comes to my door and takes my bags. He doesn’t look like my typical drivers. He is much younger and hipper; his hair is even pulled back like Beckham’s was when he played for Manchester United. He has dark skin, some type of Arab I presume.
I get in the car and we begin to chat. I could tell by the choice of the conversation topics that he is quite young – probably in his late twenties or early thirties. We start talking about working out and dieting – a topic which I could talk about for quite some time. But I’m not interested, instead I’m curious about him “Where do you live,” I ask? He replies “Jersey City.” I raise an eyebrow, but remain quite friendly and continue to kindly engage in the discussion on weight loss and exercise. We’re connecting and he can feel my warm disposition.
He likes me and asks when I am returning from my trip. “Saturday,” I respond. He asks if he can be assigned to my job and pick me up when I land. I agree, but I don’t really want him to, although the feeling is not strong enough to say no. He hands me his business card and introduces himself – his name is Ali.
“So” I say. “What nationality are you” I ask in a bubbly tone of voice which I fake in order to avoid sounding judgmental? He tells me to guess. But I’m not sure, so I tell him that I will guess what he isn’t. I immediately rule out Syrian, Moroccan, Lebanese, and Pakistani. But I am wrong he is Pakistani. Suspicion sets in.
I can’t seem to help myself, but in the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings I can’t help but to profile people everywhere I go. I am haunted by the very notion that the bombing suspects lived among us and carried on with their daily lives like every other American. I am not fearful person, but that scares the crap out of me.
I sit in the British Airways lounge waiting for my flight to board. The flight is delayed. I scan the room just like my computer’s anti-malware does vigilantly searching for harmful attackers and wonder if one of these passengers will blow up the plane. No one strikes me as unusually, which means it could be anyone.
Once boarded, I take an Ambien and shut my eyes. I thank God for giving me this blessed day and hope that I have another one tomorrow.