Grey fluorescence and thin carpet, pacing and staring, the crackle of walkie talkies—the sanitized restlessness of waiting.
I don’t mind airports, waiting in airports. I almost look forward to it, to the ritual of it—buy a trashy magazine, a bottle of water, go to the bathroom, watch the faces, cross and uncross my legs: a small moment of imposed stillness amid the go! go! go! of traveling.
I like traveling. And not just the Getting To, Arriving In, the Being There. I enjoy the process of traveling, the physicality of moving from one place to another, the inbetweenness, the great equalizing of bodies in motion.
I used to dream in trains. I say “in,” the way some people dream in color or in black-and-white or in impossible tangles of Freudian metaphor. I’d always be moving, always in route—changing carriages, transfering trains, walking down long dimly lit corridors, riding escalators deeper and deeper into the earth, underground, to grey platforms where something would howl and headlights would gleam like little pairs of eyes.
In these dreams, I’d never be still, never sitting. The stations and trains were always crowded; I’d never be alone. And I’d never, never arrive. I wouldn’t even know where I was going, what my destination was. I’d just be moving—in transit, transitory.
I’m not sure when the dreams stopped, maybe a few years ago. I still get them, from time to time, and it’ll be like an old familiar place—a dingy station somewhere in my mind.
I’m en route again, in my real life, my waking life (which may or may not be my real life, depending on how you look at it). I’m at the beginning of a journey, bags checked and tickets printed, legs crossed and waiting.
This isn’t the “wow” moment—there’s no story here, no picture to take or pearl of wisdom to unearth. Just the waiting, the stillness, the reflections on the glass.