I'm at the airport, staring at the screen with the lists of departures, flights, arrival times, delays--people walking around me, brushing past me, leaving, arriving, waiting for friends, family, relatives.

Eventually I check my bags and shuffle through the security, thinking of all the other people who were departing. It wasn't their stories that interested me this time. I wonder how many of them are returning, how many of them are being replaced by others. Everyone in the airport eventually wears the same hassled look of too many security checks and too many excess fees, waiting in line, hoping everything works, being made aware that everything really important to you fits in a couple of bags, that it will be searched by people who have never met you, and that they will not find anything interesting about it. Whether that is a comfort or a fear--in the end everyone looks at the planes with the same mixture of boredom and trepidation.

Even the ones who aren't returning. I wonder if anyone notices the wistful quality to my gaze. There are no families embracing past the security checkpoints. None of the travelers look happy to be home, however many of them are coming home. I'm sure some of them are secretly happy, though. And I know I'm happy to be home, even if it's for the last time.

I'm one of the last to board my flight. I have a window seat. I close my window and close my eyes so I don't have to see when we depart.

No comments: