I find myself at the airport again. I like the drive in, turning off the highway onto the airport parkways, passing the industrial parks and freight carriers. I know that once I am close to the hotels and car rental places, I am almost there. Today the airport was a ghost town. I arrived two hours and twenty minutes before my flight so that I could beat the crowds and make it through security in a reasonable time. This trip, not only were my belongings scanned and my carry on rummaged through like someone who receives the newspaper only for the coupons, however I had my body scanned. I placed my arms up in the air, elbows bent at 90 degrees, hands facing the machine, and shoulders raised. I suddenly realized I forgot to remove my watch. I take great pride to remove my belt and have it in the gray plastic tub without having to be reminded. Today I forgot to remove the watch. I wondered what the agents could see about me on their scanner. Could they see my bones? My scars? My soul? Just how much did they know about me? How much exposure to radiation was I receiving? The staff was friendly and paid little to no attention to my forgetting the watch. They scanned it and all was well.
I made my way through security and into the halls of fresh brewed coffee wafting through the air, business magazines and newspapers, bookstores and delis with televisions showing the Australia tennis open. I was the first to make it through and felt like they were opening up just for me. I found my gate, checked the time and in my usual fashion, found a row of empty padded chairs away from my gate. I like to observe, know my surroundings. Bagels were being shelved, energy drinks straightened in the display case, smiling people were portering white disposable cups with lids that told me, coffee would soon be theirs. Some strolled along pulling their rolling luggage like when you’re a kid and pulling your wagon. Limited conversations were exchanged along the walkway and in other sitting areas. Light laughter could be heard. Some swiped badges and tapped in numbers on a keypad. It felt that everyone was in a good mood and pleasant.
I was reminded overhead that smoking was not permitted and not to accept baggage from strangers in English and Spanish.
I opened my book and enjoyed the early morning read. After many pages, my eyes grew heavy and I was soon to sleep.