Thump down the car boot. Clunk. March towards departures, your case trolly-trundles obedient. Your footsteps a decisive clip-clap. But where are you going, so certainly, so fast?
A work thing – dull and dutiful? An adventure, change flights, time zones – never been here before, oh my? Or do you dash to your lover, flesh simmering-ripe and ready to be unpeeled?
You’re a puzzle, crossing the marbled halls. On a journey at life’s pivot point perhaps, or simply off to a jostling, crowded, commute in the sky.
I wish I was you, confidently luggaged and head-up for what’s next, where’s next.
The scream fills the light-seared space over our heads, rattling to the glass ceiling. It’s purple-faced author, riding a daddy-powered case carriage to the check in tips her blonde head back, pink mouth open and refuels her lungs for another assault.
All straps and pockets and prepared for the worst, her mother sighs defeated. Will this be the sound track to the worst of times. A bickering, bewildering, why-the-hell-did-we? nightmare or just a little stutter at the start of something cut-out-and-keep astonishing?
But you’re on your way, all of you. Going to the sunshine, the in-laws, the holiday cottage, the new life, the somewhere else. You’ll forget all of this soon. I know you will, I would if it was me there double checking the boarding cards. I wish it was me.
And you there, fading tan and leather boots. Arriving alone wearing your skin like it was couture. I know that look – it was good, wasn’t it? The air of special still lingers like woodsmoke. Or did you don it experimentally when the plane touched down – disguised in plain sight? You stroll right passed me with your chin up. Where are you going? Will you see him again? Next time…
Just the same as that couple. Jeans, sandals, clasped hands, leaning shoulder-to-shoulder. They gaze at the the board. The scrolling record of transits, transfers and transformations. With a nod, they stroll off into life together. A new life? Will they return? Or is it the usual, predictable, long-booked break from mundane Monday mornings?
Through the doors. One way only. Taking off soon. Soon. I wish I was you.
I spend quite a lot of time at the airport collecting people or dropping them off, but rarely actually ever leaving. On a jetplane.
Pic by Nick Harris via Flickr.