2021: missing the airport

Airports – magical doors that open and close a journey. Travels are bracketed by the halls of transportation – a start and an end, the in between home and place.

The hustle, the bustle, the beeping of electric carts, the smell of coffee and off food combos, strangers, stores selling things that are emergency needs like that missing cord on the bedside table, stores selling spangling silly things no one ever really needs. Duty free perfume counters and aisles of expensive whiskey, next to giant chocolate bars. I love it all.

For people who travel a lot, it’s the place of rituals, passing up that coffee because the best one comes from the kiosk down the 4th corridor, pass the shoe shine stand. The magazine only bought at the news shop with the packet of gum and tissues that are discovered on well into the journey, when they take on a miracle of planning moment and save the day. And the people watching. The people watching that soothes a noisy soul’s imagination. I miss them the random strangers and the stories I make up about their lives the most of all.

It’s my church, or one of my churches, where I go to worship what can be and what was – where I have nervously anticipated what’s next and cried tears of acceptance of what won’t be or people I am about to miss so much.

We all have the unofficial places we go to worship – would it be so wrong that mine is an airport? Because it is.


Coffee Cups – 2012 Heathrow

Terminal Five, Giraffe, early early morning on the way back from India, Fall 2012

Coffee. How I love it. Is it a genetic trait? I hope so. Where my Cuban battery can only be recharged by the jolt of caffeine and sugar?

After three weeks in India, this cup was part of the in between travel fogged transition from a new land to me, to the ritual of home.

I raced off the plane in dark dawn to find this magical cup. I still laugh at how my friend and I were navigating security and she was simply taking too long and after a trip in friend harmony, she snapped at me she could handle her own luggage. Girl, I thought, I am only moving that too stuffed bag so I can get myself past this screening to the terminal and real cow milk coffee. It’s barely to do with helping at all.

Next stop USA, I thought, next stop home. First, this magical coffee.