So much in one place. You can practically feel it simmering, the excitement, in it, around it.
Do the buildings nearby feel it? Feel it, and then cower in their comparative insignificance. Nothing they hold could ever match up to what’s going in there.
In airports you get to see the stories connect with others, or break off, tearfully or not, and branch off to somewhere else, maybe to someone else.
Airports teem with purpose. News to be discovered, places to go to, people to connect with. Bodies full of determination, but eyes glazing as lists are run through mentally, checking whether that document is in this pocket, or this present in that bag.
People in varying states of dress. Business-minded men and women clicking importantly in full corporate armour, next to the flip-flopped, sun-hatted tourists whose shirts sit on them in that lazy way they know they can on holidays. Harried parents in sharp contrast with the intertwined couples. High-end versace shoes – the new spring collection, no less – shadowing tatty, colourless sneakers caked in winter mud.
All this moving and movement under the tangle of a hundred emotional frequencies. Peaking highs. Shattering, world-ending lows. How many hearts break while a few feet away others skitter in fizzy anticipation of long-missed faces? How many terrified faces hide behind cubicle doors, while outside the adventurous chat non-stop? Excitement, disappointment, frustration, fear all torpedoing madly in one space. It’s almost viscerally exhausting.
So many thousands of lives that the brain fumbles to consider the depths of each. Stories passing each other, ignorant of common woes, shared happiness. Comfortable in their ignorance.
But, sometimes. Sometimes, there is the click, the clasp, the sliding of the lock, the question igniting into conversation, conversation flaming into something else. Where humanity might find itself, if it chose to stop and look. And sometimes it does.
But airports, they’re cocoons, too. There’s an isolation there, an insulation. An in-between feeling. You’ve left, but you haven’t arrived. You’ve waved the goodbyes but haven’t hugged out the welcomes. For now, you’re stranded, and if you chose it, and you can, it doesn’t just have to be now.
But you won’t, of course. You’ll wait. Content to be on the sidelines, for now. Quietly. Watching. Digesting. Taking it all in with a breath-taking glance, marveling at the enormity of it all, while marveling also at the nonchalant glances aimed at each other, reducing all those stories to blurry, insignificant details. There is so much and so little.
But there, sitting on the sidelines. You can see it. The much and the little. It’s there if you want to see it. Sitting in the in-between place.