Sunday, February 4, 2018

Terminal 17


There's a relentless buzz pulsing through the air, as if the sound waves are oceanic rather than conical. I turn my head towards the sound, and my eyes fall up on shelves of rainbow colored plastic. Bottles, bags, and cans bursting with salt and sugar and chemicals whose names threaten to tie my tongue. I imagine that me pronouncing those names would sound something like the clashing of Terminal 16 and Terminal 18's overlapping announcements: a myriad of syllables that sound like a language I know but that don't really mean anything at all. Especially when blended with the rhythmic click of rolling wheels over tile, the slap of a flip flop against a woman's heel, the fascinated "wow"-ing of a toddler in a stroller, the announcements are hard to follow.

It's hard to focus on any voice or person for that matter. An endless stream of people walk past. I'm surprised the airport isn't filling up like a glass under a running faucet. Though I suppose it's true that people are leaving. People tend to do that at airports. I wonder where they're all going. Are they going on a trip? Perhaps it's baby's first vacation. Or maybe it's a big job interview. It could be a trip that's been done a thousand times before, like visiting Grandma for a few days or checking in with the clients up north. What if they're headed home? I'll bet they're tired, looking forward to sleeping in their own bed again. I hope they've got clean sheets and something edible in the fridge. Do they have family waiting at home? A roommate? A fish? Maybe they just have a piano that their fingers are itching to play. I should hope that something good awaits everyone when those planes land.

I just think it's nice to be surrounded by people who are all going somewhere. Stagnancy is kind of terrifying, isn't it?

<Lucy Cartin

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