It’s funny to watch people go up the half set of escalators, coming from the TSA security, coming from watching them take their belts off in a huff and put them back on in a huff, and they come up the half of the escalators after the big hassle of deciding who gets to get on when because there were three lines of people merging into this one bank of escalators and they finally get on, their bags are on the side and they are angry and nervous little fish and they get to the platform and have to do it all again, making a little u-turn, the banks full of little angry fish having to redrag their bags and make their little political decisions and get back on a new, final bank, to ride up again, this time to the area where they buy their bottles and snacks and almonds and make calls and grip their childrens’ arms and double-tap their earbuds and look to see what their options are.
Do you get what I’m saying here, that it’s funny? I’ll keep going but once you get what I’m saying maybe you can stop reading because you either get it and know it and don’t need to reknow it or you don’t know it and more of this won’t get funnier. It’s not sny and I’m not snickering or looking down, I am an angry little fish with a roller bag that my parents bought me, do you get that? I’m buying snacks too and leaving my diet coke on top of the urinal on accident and I’m deciding to go back and get it even though I shouldn’t but why shouldn’t I, those are my two dollars and the people at the Jamba Juice could’ve bought 4 of these for their little green headaches.
The flags remind me that it’s funny. The flags remind me that we made this all up and the people who hold their hand over their chest to the flag are funny and it’s not in a sny way, I said that but I truly mean it. I hope that is coming through. It is not a both-sides-are-wrong thing here, I’m not fran leibowitzing or any of that, I am a fish too and we are all laughing together when we are doing these things. They are calling names into the void, like some dystopian lottery. That part is funny in the leibowitz way maybe, the Seinfeld way. The idea that everyone is desperately trying to be in the place that we are supposed to be and every now and then we have to tap our ears and stop our music and pray it isn’t our name they are calling out because that would mean running with our backpacks and telling everyone else we were wrong and bad and sloppy and also it’s funny in that Seinfeld way because the disembodied names being called are attached to the last people who would listen to the voice from the ceiling, but that could be projecting on my little angry pretentious part.
It’s funny is all I’m saying. We are doing this. We are burning the carbon and squishing together and breathing and huffing and putting our shoes back on and shouting into phones and tapping and recharging while we crouch down because the floor is dirty and our cords aren’t long enough and we aren’t at the sitting-on-the-ground point to our discomfort yet, to this weekend that we made, the little window we make, the one we’ll look back on fondly form our desks next week. They keep calling names and they don’t follow up. I wish there was a way we could know if she got to her gate or found the bag she left. There’s probably a rule about how many times you call over the ceiling voice before giving up and giving the seat away to another funny little body, another person who bussed here and smiled at the TSA agent and waited in line and got on the escalator and then off and then on again and then off.
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I brought a granola bar so I wouldn’t buy anything here and I’m eating that at the gate, looking at the mcdonalds across the gate, thinking about if I deserve to buy anything there because it’s cheap after all and vacation doesn’t count and I know I have no money to be deserving these things but then there’s a lady sitting with her back to mine, maybe a seat or two off actually, she’s facing the bank of windows that would show our plane waiting if it was here and not still coming from Denver or St. Petersburg or maybe Newark and it’s night anyway so she is just seeing herself anyway in the glass that is a mirror for now and she is on the phone, not with the little white earphones though, with her hand and her phone up to her ear like older people do, not only older people, everyone does it, but here it’s more older people that would do it because younger people always have the earbuds in and probably know the germs jumping who knows how far. She’s humming in agreement and she’s smiling, I think I can hear it and she hums once more and then starts talking and I listen while I watch the people walking by in a huff.
I always walked up and down the aisles with you, do you remember? You were too young, but I remember. It was such a mess with kids, even back then when we could keep our shoes on. I would put you over my shoulder like I was carrying you to bed [haha] and I would rock a little and we’d go up and down the aisle and sometimes you’d be up and you’d wave your little fingers at the people and they’d wave back because you were so little and perfect and your cheeks [I know I know… ] [Hums agreement] [Yes] [No I know I’m here] Did you call your dad today? No I don’t know, you sometimes call us both so I was curious. No it’s fine that wasn’t digging I was just asking. [Hums] No, I didn't talk to him either. Last I saw him was… yes yeah North Carolina. No, not at all, there was no tone. He was great, she was very nice. I’m serious [hahah] you’re evil. No she seems great. I got Ethan to show me her instagram page, did he show it to you? Oh okay, I wasn’t sure if that was… yes okay. No, I agree, she’s certainly got a lot to say. [hahah] [hums] As long as he’s happy, we’re happy. I don’t say that to him but I mean that nicely. I do. I do. Did I say..what?...No [hums] No i was just asking if I told you already about Peggy and the house? Yes, yeah they saw it last week, and…yes…yes exactly. Well they put an offer in. It wasn’t as a high as we’d hoped. What do you mean? Peggy and I I mean. It wasn’t as high as her group expected I guess. I’m fine with it yes, I think it’s good, it’s too big now anyway. Ethan’s mad but he can home from school and help pack over break and…yes…yes…no. Yeah I think if it goes through I’ll try and do what we talked about. I know you don’t like it [hahaha] no… yes of course I know…but it would be fun to try something a little new! And what a great opportunity to meet some new people. And yes… yes you and Travis should come visit once I’ve finally ironed it out. Yes exactly. A little sun, some new people exactly. No I’m just tired, yeah the plane is late in so we are late out but the ticket agent said it’ll be here soon. Yes, no, just tired. It’s funny, if you were here or Ethan, I’d be walking you around the gates now. I know I know I meant when you were, yes yeah. Your little cheeks made everyone laugh. I’m seeing so much of that tonight. Yeah exactly. Trying to keep them entertained. You used to be such a handful. This was always the worst [hahah]. Yes. Yes you’re right. Well okay. Well okay. Yeah I will text you when I’m on. Don’t stay up. Give Travis my best. Love you too.
I turned a little to the side and saw her put her phone down and tap a little and close it and look out at the night where our plane should be and I looked back forward at my hands and my wrapper and we both sat there, back to back, waiting for our plane to come and take us to a new place or back to the place we came from.