Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Nothing Like An Airport To Remember How Small the World Is

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The Esau Continuum

By J.C. Lynne

I traveled to L.A. to see the dotter last week. I love to travel. Wandering Apache flavors my blood and I feel antsy when still for too long.

I generally prefer road trips. Something about witnessing the geography saunter by me satisfies my roaming urge more effectively than flying. I joke about owning a Tardis or having a transporter, but my consciousness relishes the journey.

Unless I'm traveling internationally. Ahem Beard.

Road trips also require planning and strategy. Time to set your mind in the right space for a trek. Packing becomes a puzzle. Stops and sights along the way need to be laid out ahead of time.

I apply those principles to air travel, but this trip required some last minute changes. It's not unusual for me to think "Who's f*&^ing idea to travel was this?" a day or two before I depart. Imagine my state of distress when I chose to move my trip up three days.

Contradictorily, I love airports. I'm a writer. There is no better place than travel terminals to people watch. I used to play the story game with the kids. Where is that guy going? Is she a spy? Who are they meeting?

That inclination to observe means I make a lot of eye contact with strangers. I smile a lot in airports because a friendly smile excuses the creepy staring. Most of the time.

Moving through Denver International Airport on a Sunday morning, despite the early hour and late night, I scan faces of fellow travelers and I spot six or seven people I'm certain I've met before. I find this experience unsurprising and astonishing at the same time.

After all, I once bumped into my cousin, Brent at DIA. He was catching a connecting flight returning to California from business and I returned from San Fransisco and a visit with his sister. Not making that up. It was freaky.

I'm pretty sure my older seat mate on the flight is a retired KGB mole. That or I've been watching too much spy TV. He had a Slovak accent. He ordered an unopened soda in deadly seriousness and was deeply absorbed in a Ronald Reagan documentary. Nostalgia for the Cold War perhaps.

My trip to L.A. grew a bit more surreal when I ended up sharing a Uber ride with the couple who sat directly in front of me on the plane. It was completely random that Uber pooled my ride. Even the driver mentioned he'd never had two pick-ups at an airport before.

Thing is the world is shrinking. Rather than try to squeeze people out, we should be making room for the colorful collection of characters. We have so much more in common in our wide variety than we'll ever be different. Stop the hate people.

The Bard said it. The World's a stage and we all have our entrances and exits. We've all got some crazy going on.

I love bearing witness to the wide variety of humanity. To look at the faces of the players and imagine their stories.

Not to mention collecting colorful ideas for characters for my novels.

Write on.


Jennifer Goble said...

I like your optimism! I am going to remember your words my next time at an airport. - and appreciate the stimulation! Makes me think of a quote by St. Augustine: “The world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page.”

JC Lynne said...

Thank you! It certainly gets you through a three hour delay of your flight. Plus, I saw Wayne Newton! Whoo hoo!

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