Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In an Airport

Dark sleep, but no rest. The kind where you feel suspended in the blackness and fastened to it with thick hides. Condition orange that day. I had never been in the airport when it wasn’t at least an Orange. But they had said it was raised. Raised from what? The insides of my brain felt hot as I started wandering down that plastic corridor lined with the crippling paranoia of ten thousand patrons too afraid to trust in anything. The knots in their guts had been tied and the propagated fear they feed us will never allow them to untangled. Always looking over our shoulders.
The paranoid serpent wanted to burst through my abdomen, but it settled on making its home within.
I don’t fly much. Hate it, actually. Despise the feeling of being at the complete mercy of a stranger. The seeds had planted themselves deeply. The thought of being confined in a tube 20,000 feet in the sky under the complete control of a man, a fallible human, strung out from being overworked, under rested and underpaid, who hated his job as much as everyone else hated their jobs, was fundamentally unsettling. The impending collapse that was now undeniably looming over all of our heads and houses and children and stuff kicked a lot of people into some strange frenzy. Instead of retreating, like originally forecasted, the sense of imminent doom stuck a hot stick up the collective ass of the masses. This fledgling pandemonium, no one was ready to admit to it yet. They weren’t running, but they were walking with stark purpose. Everyone was going everywhere all of the time, because most of them thought that it was going to be the last time that they were able to go there, wherever it was that they were going. The age of shutting the eyes to make it go away had long since passed. And from this frenzy was born a sense of desperation that was so infectious, and so encompassing, that the sense itself was and is the main component that makes my life possible in this instant. More heads are turned now than ever before. When a man is gripped by a fundamental realization that the countdown has started, you see if he really cares if you take that sandwich from the display case without paying. People don’t chase when the agendas in their Blackberries don't tell them they should.
I am a man who cloaks himself quite often; most times successfully, others not quite. It was those times that landed me on my own, and it is those times that kept me alone. When they occur, I am humbled and lay curses to all matter that makes me. Being alone has never bothered me, though, mostly because somewhere along the line I had convinced myself that I was actually grateful to not have to be concerned with them, whoever them was at the time. Them. You know them. The lack of this control really ate at me, from the inside out, like ants in a marshmallow. Made me feel hot all over. I sat in the faded grey seat, fidgeting, groping, fixing the parts of my body into some kind of comfortable order. Comfort was a word rarely used anymore. Few people in the airport, and even fewer in queue for my flight. For that I was thankful and I focused my energy on that little nugget of positivity for as long as I could. I wouldn’t have to interact with too many people for a little longer. It was still early, though, and people weren’t early anymore, either. They would come and they would come with much loud. I unclenched a little bit, focus drifted from me. I forgot where the destination was. What city? To where am I making my escape? I chomped hard on the precautionary gum in my mouth, could feel my teeth between it, gnashing together like paperweights. I looked down at the ticket crunched up in my hand. It was wet from my perspiration. I can't read. Nothing is of any interest to me. More hub-bub bustling noise. More things. Gadgetry. Technology. Kaczynski was right. Fuck it. All of the noise. Fuck all of it. Nothing anywhere that I wanted. Or maybe this was the one.
The one to propel me, somewhere else entirely. I was running, maybe I would be going somewhere. Slowly, a mental picture came into focus in my mind, a fog lifted and I saw a buoy bobbing cathartically in a gentle sea. The delicate twanging of a sea bell; a warning? Maybe this was that flight. The flight out. Probably not. Probably not not not not. I thought my gums were bleeding because I was chewing so hard on that fucking gum. Why so much discomfort? What was it? What toxin was I submerged in? I thought about the plane, about my ears cracking like plastic bubbles at every fluctuation in altitude and pressure. I hated flying as much as I hated casual conversation. They all looked miserable. All looked afraid. People walking past, dragging luggage, children, behind them. The wheels squeaking as they rolled over the cracks in the tile floors. Dull drone of atonal music piped out over the Styrofoam speakers. Why even bother to do that anymore? A lost child announcement. A found child announcement. A lost luggage announcement. A found luggage announcement. A safety warning. A safety warning. A safety warning. A safety warning. I took off my hat and ran my hand over my head. Hair closely cropped to my skull, nothing to grab onto. Feels like tree moss, I thought.
I was on the verge of vomiting. This was not like waiting for the other flights. I felt the lack of some specific something. A void inside. A void outside of me. My organs tangled themselves. My eyes swelled. It hurt to close them, but looking at the passing people was equally displeasurable. It was a distinct feeling. It had happened before. More than once. I knew that today was going to be a bad day. Just like those other days.
February 15th, 2009, we'll all be dead soon after that. The last day of analog television broadcasting. No longer would physical signals be aired ever again. Entering the age of complete digital broadcasting. Digital was such a buzzword. Since the inception of television in the late 1920’s, and radio before that, there were waves. The information was coded, broken down into microbits, and sent out over the vast land. Coated it in heaves. It's piled up, constantly dusted away by new waves. Now, no more waves. No more anything. No more buzz through our bodies. How could that happen? We are all going to start puking and its not gonna stop.

1 comment:

My Idea of Fun said...

dude, this one is so good. i've been waiting for you to write more and this piece did not disappoint. when i read the line "People walking past, dragging luggage, children, behind them." - i thought to myself: "holy shit, what an awesome analogy" and then you fucking went on to further compare children to luggage and i lost it. i really like it, man. it reminds me a little of HST. especially the last paragraph. great shit, dude.