Monday, December 6, 2021

Fiddling around with some old words


The flight was ugly and painful, but they always are.  It's just twilight as the descent goes on; seems to take hours, approaching this city.  This woman.  There are lights, there are people leaning and looking out windows, both at the ghost of a landscape disappearing in the dark, and at the twinkling glimmers in the gloaming.  Everything itches somehow; physically, mentally.  His stomach twitches and quivers.
There's nothing recognizable to him outside the windows, and so he doesn't look.  Just the music in the iPod and the sensations of deceleration, of approaching the ground again.

He carried on almost nothing, but everyone else has, so disembarkation takes forever.  Lurching, imbalanced, get off.  Get off.  Don't you people have loved ones to get to?  Just escape.  Only escape from this hideous capsule of farts and frustration and canned air.
Rickety tube of a gangway.  Smells disgusting.  Then, release - not escape, but expulsion now, into the milling murmuration, all off to the right, must go to the right.  He goes to the right, follows the exodus, sees plexi walls and now-disused ribbon-barriers into a security area all but dead and done.  Windows along the gates are black and blank.  It is night time now.
The walk toward the center of the airport, small as it is - is not a hurried one.  He's far too aware of the composite pattern of the grey floor, the white floor, the blue floor.  How polished it all is.  The metallic demarcations in terrazzo. 
He realizes he's looking down because he's *felt* that she's there. Not even letting his brain realize that he has seen her.  She is there.

How can she be there?  How can he?  It's ridiculous, and not at all passionate, poetic, or right.  So much hideous fear, uncertainty, stupidity.  How could he have done this?  No matter what she said.
The path between the gateway from security and gates and the ugly collection of seating and flourescents isn't even fifty yards. In crossing it, he ages seventy years; every creak of the flight now in his bones.  She's wearing an extraordinarily plain black dress with a wide scooped neck - so much severe fabric, so much white skin - and boots, though it is summer.  Her hair is down, and - she's curled it?  Somehow, his mind flashes to an airport in the ten years ago.  He remembers the pained girl he saw then, the almost brutal sensation of reunion. Gods, they had been so young.
Of every curve of her, it's the arch at her side, hinting at her back, that finally arrests his attention.  There is nothing else in the world for just a second; that luscious place, promising her back, all of her back - and suddenly she is there, really *there*, and so is he.