TSA

When I went through the security checkpoint at JFK Airport on Thursday morning, I was given the “choice”: undergo AIT (Advanced Imaging Technology) or an old school pat-down. I settled on the pat-down, partly out of fear—an irrational one, I bet—of what evil rays the scanner would be blasting into my body. But more than anything I wanted to be touched.

I’m a libertarian, and because of that I know that the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) consistently infringes on my civil liberties—although I don’t know how to explain it exactly. (I don’t think about it much, to tell you the truth.) So my call for the pat-down was kind of a protest. “You want to take away my rights? Well, then you’re gonna have to get close to my dick, oppressor!”

The TSA agent was not a good-looking man. He was an older guy, a balding queen, who was doing an all-right job hiding his flamboyance, but a terrible job subduing the Queens accent—borough, not persuasion. I figured I was the best part of his morning.

“You’ve done this before, I’m guessing,” he said.

“Yes, I have done this before.”

“So I don’t have to explain each step to you.”

“Oh, I’d prefer that you did.” You’re gonna work for this, I thought.

At one point he told me to raise my arms—and I did. At another point he told me to lower my arms—and I did. “Now I’m going to use the backs of my hands on your sensitive areas…”

You sure are, I thought.

He tried to make small talk around my ass. “Where are you heading?”

I didn’t have to answer him—I know my rights—but I did anyway: “Los Angeles.”

“Oh, I love San Francisco, San Diego – really anything north of L.A.” He gave me a look, the back of his hand creeping up my thigh. “Although I like L.A. too.”

I wasn’t offended, but this felt wrong. For the both of us. He knew he was patting down the wrong guy. He’d spent this whole morning patting down the wrong guys. And he’d spend the rest of his workday doing the same. If you’re wasting your time fondling me, then you’re not keeping anyone safe.

Then I thought, there’s someone out there that he should be patting down—and it wasn’t a terrorist. No, there’s a man out there who never gets touched. He goes days without getting touched—maybe he’s gone years—and the only opportunity he has for physical contact with another human being is when he’s shambling with his carry-on over to the airport security gate. Poor guy—I was taking this away from him.

The TSA agent finished with me, and we left each other unsatisfied. When I was having trouble slipping on my shoes, I thought about how at no point did he unfurl my penis to see what I had hidden there…

All those lives he put at risk…