September 14, 2018

Airports


Anticipation, excitement, waiting...there’s something exciting about being there, even if you’re not going anywhere yourself... “United Airlines Flight 272 from San Francisco now arriving at Gate 44” comes over the airport sound system, cloudy floor to ceiling windows, massive machines falling from the sky...weighing tons, gliding down from visiting The Seventh House, touching down, going down the runway gracefully like a model...still a wonder...Airbus 320 up up and away...low flying planes these days, still stealing my gaze...at night powerful headlights breaking through the sky and to the other side, from a distance coming closer and closer... pretty flashing red and green lights winking...“Paging Mr. William Carson, please pick up the red line for an urgent message...Mr. William Carson”... people coming to vacation, people coming to give most important business presentations soon forgotten, people coming to see family and friends...“American Airlines Flight 727 for Las Vegas with continuing service to San Diego now boarding at gate 29”...engines thundering, gaining speed, motoring down the runway, magically rising like some storybook carpet from a children's’ fairy tale into baby blue and cotton candy skies...soaring to its destination...Paris, London, Tokyo, Lima, Rome or a million places on the globe...disappearing into the clouds...or farther than the eye can see...“Ms. Samantha Wolf, please meet your party in the mezzanine”...in the Manchester, New Hampshire airport they used to have a replica of a big moose in the lobby...it was funny to hear “Mr. Gary Hohman, please meet your party at the moose”...people sleeping, laying down on hard plastic seats, fidgeting, looking at their phones, digging through carryons...“British Airways now calling passengers Julie Christian, Gracie Brown, Patty Doina, and Sochi Lopez, please come to gate 33 immediately”...lower concourse...‘urrrrrrrrrrrr, urrrrrrrrrrrr’, yellow lights on the wall flashing...with that the baggage carousels begin moving and slithering like giant snakes in Arizona...the suitcases start to come out of the mysterious regions, mystical  neverlands where they are currently residing on some kind of astral plane...going around and around and around and around, anxious wide-eyed children waiting patiently and looking to be claimed by their nervous parents...shiny new suitcases fresh, worn ones with gray beards, elderly ones with walkers wrapped with twine with owners hoping they’ll stay together for one more trip…“last call for Allegiant Flight 422 for Kansas City which is now boarding at gate 15”...coming from the gate into the terminal...dressed up limousine drivers holding up signs with names...waiting to whisk the owner of that name away to a fancy downtown 5-star...maybe family members waiting excitedly to see their loved ones come in...I’m a bigger misanthrope than most, but it still makes me feel good to see the hugs and kisses and smiles when people are greeting one another and genuinely happy to see each other...getting late now, terminal emptying out, tomorrow morning busy again.