Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Arrivals

“Come on down boys,” beckons the security officer at Toronto Pearson International Airport. We both approach his booth and hand over our Passports and disembarkation cards.

“Where did you guys go?” He asks without even glancing up.

“Dominican Republic” we reply in unison.

“Did you guys practice that?” We chuckle at his joke.

“How long were you guys away?”

“One week,” replies Mr. Honey Tongue.

“Where did you stay?”

“At a resort in Puerto Plata,” I state.

“So, what’s your relation to each other?”

“Good friends,” I answer without a second thought.

“How did you guys meet?”

I balk. I open my mouth, but am not sure how to answer. I turn to Mr. Honey Tongue and he is also staring ahead blank faced.

“Do you want to tell him the truth?” Mr. Honey Tongue asks me. I nod in the affirmative, but am unsure as to what truth he refers too.

“We’re partners,” says Mr. Honey Tongue to the security officer.

“Hey, hey,” says the security officer putting up both his hands in the air. “I just asked how you guys met, I don’t need to know about your lifestyle choice.” I wince at the term lifestyle choice. “Did you guys meet at school?”

“We met online.” I respond hastily.

“There you go, that all I wanted to know.” He hands us back our documents.

“I didn’t anticipate that,” I say to Mr. Honey Tongue as we stand by the conveyor belt waiting for our luggage. He laughs.

“What do you mean?” He asks.

“Well, what am I supposed to say? That we were at a club and you eyed me all night, and then coincidently we ended up on the same chat site a couple days later?” I say, as I retrieve his black and grey monogrammed Pierre Cardin suitcase. “We are totally going to get checked by customs.”

“You think so?”

“Yes!” I lean over again and retrieve my red and maroon monogrammed Pierre Cardin suitcase.

We are approaching the sliding doors that would exit us out of the secure area of the airport. There is a mild throng of people in this area, and we get separated into two different queues. We both approach the respective security officer of our queue at the same time handing over our disembarkation cards.

“That way sir,” motions the security officer in my queue, pointing towards a long winding corridor. I look for Mr. Honey Tongue, but his behind had already slipped behind the immediate exit door.

“But, my friend….” I say feebly.

“You will see him in a moment.”

I take my suite case, and walk down a winding corridor, into a large room, where three fellow passengers are already in the midst of a custom examination.

The same officer who directed me here, asks me to place my luggage on a metal examination table.

“Is this your luggage?” She asks.

“Yes.”

“Do you know the contents inside?”

“Yes.”

“You packed this suitcase yourself?”

“Yes.”

“Please, open the suitcase.”

I proceed to open the suitcase for her. Even though all the clothing inside is now dirty, they are carefully arranged according to outfit. The rolled white Lacoste polo right next to the white linen HM pants. She places latex gloves on her hands, and gingerly goes through the contents.

“What’s this?” She asks, picking up an oblong object encased in a Spanish newspaper.

“A sculpture.”

She proceeds to open another compartment in the suitcase. In this section I have enclosed the four pair of shoes that I took with me. Her fingers run past the shoes, to my vanity bag. She picks up the bag and unzips it. She observes my two bottles of cologe (Escape by Calvin Klien and Envy by Gucci), two hairstyling products, facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. She extracts these products out, her fingers digging further into the bag.

She pauses. She is now staring at my black bottle of Platinum lube. She hurriedly puts back all the items into the vanity bag, and quickly tosses it back into the suitcase.

“That’s fine,” she says turning herself away and stares ahead disinterestedly.

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