The Airport Of Life

Today’s entry could be entitled “What I thought while I spent most of Monday in an airport!”

And where I was headed is not as important at this story telling time as the experience itself. I was flying out of Greensboro on a business trip on Monday morning. A business trip I wondered on Sunday whether I would be able to take at all bearing in mind the ice storm Sunday that completely covered my driveway with thick ice and our town and area with varying degrees as well.

I thought that if I wasn’t meant to go, that would be what would happen and didn’t stress to much over the temperature which at bedtime was 34. The local weatherman had said that Monday would be milder and so it was when I awoke at 6 am to temperatures in the low forties.

After breakfast I was on my way and even arrived at the airport early. I had loaded my Ipod with lots of tunes and was kinda looking forward to some down time to listen to a few songs I hadn’t heard in years.

So I wasn’t so put off when my plane didn’t show up on time figuring I still had plenty of time to get to Washington Dulles airport and make my connecting flight to Dayton, Ohio. Well, the plane left an hour late and I, along with most of the plane, missed my plane to Dayton. Not knowing the ropes with airlines and all that, I was late getting to the customer service area and found myself behind almost 50 people all looking for other connecting flights. As there were only two airlines people in the customer service area things were a little slow. It took two hours to get up to the front. In the meantime I was on my cell phone along with several other people in line talking to folks from United about getting out of Washington and on the way to my destination.

I was also on the phone with the person who had driven an hour or two to pick me up. She had gone back to her office and was searching online for another flight to get me closer to her than Washington. We finally found one and I made my way back to a customer service person and asked to get the new flight–which was still several hours away.

After arranging this, I went to a fast food place to get a bite to eat and sat at the table, drinking a beer and eating my sandwich while I watched the many types and sizes of people pass me by.

You know the ones–the girls with heels high enough to make you wonder how they ever stay upright. The guys with the Ipod ear buds who look like they don’t even know where they are. The men in suits and ties and laptop bound–the young mothers pushing babies across the great divide between concourse A and B.

It’s always the same in airports–always the same but slightly different each time I end up waiting for a plane. The people are different but still strangers I have never seen before. I am looking at them looking at me. They are walking by me pretending that they really know where they are going while their lips or furled eyebrows tell me a different story. Nobody wants to be here-everyone wants to be somewhere else–wherever it is they are bound for–in the airport on their way to.

But that is not the story I started out to tell, yet maybe it is better saved for another day–a day when I have better words to explain it all and maybe a better understanding of what it is that I would have to say–to you or to myself.

It’s a story about the purpose of life and why we are here or find ourselves stuck together in an international airport on a cold snowy day in late January–just after a storm system had passed through the great mid-west and the eastern seaboard.

It is a story that serves up images of Dr. Zivago and lonely tundra like train rides in the night time.

I will go find it and return when it is more complete and I am not rushed for time.

It will be better then.

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