Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wish You Were Here (1.8)

airport dreams

Dear god.  I had drifted off, only to awake still curled into the tiny, unforgiving, plastic chair of an airport waiting area.  Same insipid song playing.  Muzak.  Same faceless waitees beside me.  Same ache in my back.

What is there to say about airports?  Nothing that hasn't been said before.  Cold and utilitarian.  The careful illusion of sterility.  Everything built with functionality in mind  leaving creativity by the wayside.  Shrines to the uninventive.  More a sepulchre, perhaps, for an architect's deceased imagination.

I took a sip of substandard coffee from a cheap paper cup.  Leafed through some pages of notes.  I was beyond anxious.  Would Lagan still be waiting for me in Bahrain when I arrived?

Two hours more, and I had explored every explorable deplorable inch of that colourless structure.  Spelunked through the yawning caverns of souvenir shops.  Reconnoitred the vast stretches of duty-free stores.  Traversed the wilds of the food courts.

I was ready to board, and ready to be bored on a whole new level, for the wan surroundings of an airport can't even compete with the totally bland interior of an airplane.  There, once past the invasive searches, the accusing eyes of security, I would be subjected to a higher plane of boredom.  Films of yesteryear, screened for appropriateness.  Tasteless gin.  Even more tasteless company.

On the plane, hunched into that polyester-clad, stain-resistant seat, I immediately closed my eyes to troubling images of cursors blinking and untyped pages, thoughts of unwritten reports and things not yet checked off of my growing bucket list.  Seat up, buckled in, passed out, I was ultimately subjected to horrifying nightmares of demonic robots giving chase, all glowing, red eyes and sooty, black breath.  Forever running and getting caught.

Lagan was there, around every corner, provoking, ridiculing, luring, always careful to remain one step ahead.  Images of that awful mouth, unhinged and open wide, laughing and laughing and laughing.  Then there were flies.  Swarms of them.  Hard to breath as they enveloped me in one diseased mass, tasting, nipping, consuming, slowly rendering flesh from bone.

Thirty-five thousand feet above nowhere, I awoke in a panic.  No leg room.  Numb limbs.  Screaming babies.  Hell.  Hell.  Hell.  My eyes opened to a headache inducing yellow light, panicked lungs filled with fake, opaque air, and the grotesquery of a stewardess's counterfeit smile.

“Another gin, sir?”

I smiled, shook my head, and shut my eyes, my ears locating the manufactured melody of a piece of soft piped-in Muzak.  On the wings of these artificial notes, I tried to relax, still packed into a steel tube hurtling through the blue, blue sky.  Going elsewhere.  Always elsewhere.  Hoping beyond hope that hell would, indeed, wait.

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