Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Notes from an Airport

Airports are beautiful.
I've always been attracted to them. I think it's because of the commotion and excitement of it all. There are so many different kinds of people going so many different places. And I'll never get over the marvel of a plane lifting off into the sky. It's perfect, the weightlessness of the tires leaving the cracked runway.
Sitting in an airport terminal is a privilege. Not anyone can just walk into its glass barricades and sit in one of the many cheap pleather seats at each gate. You have to have a ticket. And with a buddy pass, you never know when you'll have the privilege of not making it on a flight, forced to sit in the tranquility of the busy terminal to people-watch.

The old airport attendants sit in abandoned wheelchairs talking sports and politics. Their graying hair compliments their formal navy blue vests and dress shirt uniform.
I go into the restroom and one of them follows me. He is humming loudly, occasionally voicing a few lyrics as he relieves himself. He's happy.
To spend my days in an airport terminal amongst the hustle and bustle and quiet interludes between flights. To see the faces and hear the voices of such a diverse array of people everyday.
I think the attendant is a lucky man.

Bukowski keeps me company. His terse prose shoves the truth down my throat as I sit among the blue collared works he speaks of while they're on the lunch breaks in the back of the terminal cafeteria. They sit in thinly padded seats, their neon uniforms as colorful as their language.

I'm slowly but surely becoming familiar with the faces of this place. As the janitors make their rounds, they notice me, also making my rounds. There is a moment of understanding. He knows I'm not just one of the others billowing past, blackberry attached to ear, lips sputtering words, eyes ignoring the multifarious enchantment of the passing travelers.


Kelsie Lynn said...

You got a nice style of writing here Mr Dressman.

I also love airports!
Especially the international section.
Cause you know they are all going really really exciting places.
Like Australia or Africa or Japan or Germany.

London one day right Austin? :D saweeet

Austin said...

thanks so much!

Well I have yet to travel abroad via plane but I cannot wait for the day to come.

and yes, London is definitely first on the list...