Perhaps this is the talk of someone who doesn’t travel more than three times a year, but I love airports. I also love to fly. Once I pass the nerve-racking process of security, I put my shoes on, grab my bags to head to my gate and the flutter of freedom and adventure settles in.
Although airports tend to be hermetically sealed environments that are almost indistinguishable from city to city, there is something beautiful about them, despite their dysfunction (I’m looking at you LAX. One decent sit down restaurant at the Jet Blue/Virgin terminal? Come on.)
They are large microcosms unto themselves. They house people in transit – a subset of humans waiting for the next motion – they are a temporary city onto themselves.
The smell of the jet fuel. The hissing sound of plane engines, the hustle of luggage carts and maintenance men, running along a stretched out runway that blinks dreamy lights outlining the various runways. Taxing planes coming in from other cities, carry people with things to do, lives to live, places to see.
Nothing new in hashing out the hubbub of airports. But there’s something lovely about waking up in the middle of the night and taking to the spotless roadways to catch a flight. When you enter an airport drive, it’s as if you’ve entered a secret society of people awake and bustling to get their flights in what seems like the still of the night. Voyagers getting a fresh start to the day, as the sky lightens and the sun is flashing its rays on the horizon. They stand in line at McDonalds. They grab their coffee at Dunkin Donuts. They buy water, aspirin, munchies – and await the announcement of boarding.
What is on their minds? What lives are rushing through those shiny floors and up those escalators? What memories do you have of travel and airports and missed connections and those found?
What travels are on your horizon, and how will you transcribe those into words?
Write it down.