A person walking through an airport terminal.
It’s hard to imagine a place where I feel safe that involves having to be around other people who know nothing about me, the person responsible for all of their lives who at the moment is having a major identity crisis. Their pale faces are consumed within their own thoughts ranging from the mundane to the mediocre everyday happenings of life like; mowing the lawn, picking up the kids from school, stopping by the pharmacy to pick up grandma’s stool softener and to think that sometimes I envy them. I can’t escape them, these people, they always seem to be exactly where I need to go and in the way, and though I understand that they aren’t aware of it I still feel like they’re following me, like they’re choosing to be there. I try not to make eye contact and avoid making a meaningful connection with them, you know, the type of connection that will linger on later as a memory you can recount to your children and grandchildren, whenever you fly to Disney World, about the lady whose heel broke while power walking across the terminal or the fat man who spilled mustard on his white seersucker shirt. I didn’t care much for making memories because I won’t live long enough to share them with anybody so what’s the point right? I have never dreamt of love or having children of my own or creating something valuable for all future generations to enjoy and benefit from like the lightbulb or the internet or the tv dinner.
I’m getting tired of this airport, it feels like i’ve been walking forever with this heavy backpack and suitcase and my head down and my headphones blasting Queen into my ears and trying to not be noticed by an old friend or some suspicious minimum wage security guy with a several thousand volt taser in his holster he’s never had to use before nor has he been trained to use because of budgetary cutbacks that have affected one of the highest grossing industries in the world. Who knew it could be so exhausting trying not to pay attention to your surroundings? We must be built this way as part of some Darwinian construct and that is why we develop the ability to be conscious about things, no matter how unimportant those things may be. Or maybe these folks skittering across the terminal floor are just asking for attention like the five undone buttons on that flight attendants shirt and you would think her ascot would help cover her puppies up but that tiny navy cloth is just a little too high up on her neck to help keep her cleavage from catching a chill in this drafty recycled air. Dammit. There I go again. They told me to constantly talk to myself in my head to avoid noticing the others around but I now think it’s impossible. This isn’t right. They told me I would have my doubts though. They told me to ignore those doubts. I must. I must. I must. There it is. The center of the terminal. Finally, I can relieve myself of the weight of my backpack. Now I can put it on the ground take this damn detonator, that’s been poking me, from my coat pocket and hold it up for everyone to see. I see their faces. Staring. At me. They finally accept the fact that I exist but it doesn’t feel like enough, it isn’t enough. They will never know my name or my thoughts, my memories or my friends and I will never know theirs and now I realize it is not just of me to strip that away from them because I have no authority and though I find myself in this very moment with opportunity to steal from them those worthless memories filled with pointless subtleties, it still feels wrong. It is wrong. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. But it’s too late and luckily...luckily, I find reconciliation in the thought of sharing this memory with you all.