Last year I missed by Durango-to-Phoenix flight by ten minutes, which forced me to stay in the area in order to grab a flight the next morning, etc. I didn’t miss the flight itself but I failed the 30-minutes-before-the-flight rule that Durango Airport are the FAA insists upon. Well, I missed the same damn deadline today, but this time only by five minutes. 300 seconds earlier and everything would’ve been fine.

My fault, of course — I felt I had to finish that Beasts of No Nation review in a way that I was fully satisfied with. But then I tore out of Telluride and sped like a motherfucker, passing car after car over those winding mountain roads, risking life and limb.

I arrived breathless at the US Airways desk at 3:15 pm, or 25 minutes before the flight was due to leave. “Sorry but you’re too late,” the US Air clerk said. Durango Airport is a small operation, remember, and I was there with 25 minutes to spare. I begged, whined, cajoled. I also offered to pay him a “late penalty fee”…nope. A little lenience wouldn’t have hurt anyone and I doubt if FAA would have given a damn, but the guy wouldn’t budge. (He would have made an exception if I’d been a hot blonde in her mid 20s, trust me.) This meant I’d be stuck in Durango again as there are no flights out until early tomorrow morning.

I just couldn’t settle for that plus I’m determined to stick to my plan (i.e., spending Tuesday and Wednesday morning in Manhattan before flying to Toronto) so I swore, gritted my teeth, slapped my thigh, swore again and booked a flight to NYC from Alberquerque ($600 and change, arrives at JFK around 5:45 am). And then I rented a gray Toyota from Budget for the drive south. Durango to Alberquerque is 215 miles or roughly four hours.

I’m writing this at 7:25 pm from a little cafe in Cuba, New Mexico, which had a population of 725 at the time of the 2010 census. The Alberquerque-to-JFK Jet Blue flight leaves at 11:50 pm.

So I hope everyone appreciates the fine prose sculpting that went into the Beasts of No Nation review because it cost me around $800 bucks.