I’m getting very accustomed to this wait
flipping through the pages of whatever book I’m reading
sipping a coffee I only bought for something to do
and thinking about buying a mickey of scotch
and having a party for myself
in the stall of the arrivals bathroom.
I never do that though.
For some reason, I think that the wait would be all the worse if I was drunk
a one man party
with nobody having any fun.
This is dead time/ nothing to do but watch the people walk by/ check out the departures board and think about the other places that I could be going/ Hamburg/ Las Vegas/ places where it isn’t snowing/ places that don’t have employment connotations.
There is a rack
of reading material
crammed under an escalator
on the arrivals level
pamphlets on religion
and the region
I’ve never picked one up
because I’ve thankfully never been
At some point I wonder about the capacity of all of these people to sleep in uncomfortable chairs/ why would you choose to sleep beside the Starbucks, with its endless rotation of jazz music/ people talking/ clerks asking names and orders and payment methods/ is there not a quieter wing for you to rest your weary head?
I have three hours left
tall flat white
and six dollar water.
Dig the public art installations/ it should be noted that if you want your art to be skimmed over by millions of people, that you should aim for them to install it somewhere in an airport.
At least in the arrivals area I see happy people greeting one another/ they mingle in with the jaded loners who wait for their luggage to show up/ the meeting/ the reunion/ that they have with their suitcase is not nearly as friendly/ not nearly as filled with joy.
I step outside in Calgary March
and a wind too lazy to go around
so it just goes straight through me.
I light a cigarette
watch the taxi cabs
the valet cars
the town cars and limos roll past
and the occasionally snow plow that constantly fights a losing battle.
Go back inside/ order another coffee/ check the clock/ ponder getting something to eat/ check the clock/ go splash some water on my face in the washroom in an attempt to wash the gaunt “just flown” feeling off of my face/ check the clock/ message somebody for something to do/ toss out a half finished coffee/ check the clock/ try and read/ skim a few pages/ ponder buying a book when I already have one on the go/ check the clock/ think about writing something/ anything to make the time pass/ to make the time useful/ to not just be waiting/ waiting is nothingness/ waiting is a waste of time that could be used for something/ open and close various word documents and seek some kind of traction/ check the clock/ find a chair somewhere/ watch the people moving past in the international terminal/ watch the ant-like hum of activity outside on the tarmac/ the movement of people and goods/ baggage whisked from gate to gate/ departing aircraft/ taxiing aircraft/ check the clock.
Two hours left in the layover/ sanity fading.
These airports need a walk-around therapist/ someone who sits down in the empty chair beside you and talks you through your problems/ asks you about your life in a way that doesn’t seem prying or annoying/ but in a way that lets you break down and work through your issues like it’s a mathematical problem with a viable solution/ takes everything in in a cohesive scope and eliminates problems through dialogue.
Chances are if they showed up, I’d have my headphones in.
Blonde on Blonde/ Mingus Ah Um/ Humans/ Desire/ Kind of Blue/ Changing of the Guards three times before I’m reminded that I have a short story collection with that title that I’m not writing.
Surrounded by fake artificial trees/ an existential crisis about direction and purpose/ what would stop me from hoping on any one of these other planes to some far off corner of the world? Why do I not go? Is responsibility all it’s cracked up to be?
Bills/ rent/ food/ my job/ the money that it takes to travel/ no options once there/ my apartment/ much more.
Fuck, where is that therapist?