There’s a jingle down the corridor.
My head jolts up quickly, and I twist to the left. The hall has walls white and smooth, and high ceilings lit by yellowing bulbs lit in hanging metal rafters. The red fuzz of his coat is illuminated by the warm rays. He looks like one of those mall-santas. Maybe a bit more respectable. He’s boot step down heavily as the bell on his hip jingles. He has a belt buckle with big swash letters that spell “Santa” in gold colored metal. Maybe not as respectable, I rethink. His hands are holding on to the a clear plastic cup with a green logo. There’s nothing but ice left, and he’s holding it close to his chest above a bulge of a belly. I imagine that an amber liquid had been there just moments ago, a bit unfairly.
As he passes in front of me, a girl walking down the from check-in smiles brightly and says to him:
His face tightens up and puts on his voice.
His stomach bulges a bit. He holds his drink higher up near his face.
Ho, ho, ho.
His voice trails off as walks left and out of my view, going where ever an Airport-Christmas-Santa goes.
A lot of people dislike the airport. They hate the process of checking in. They hate the invasion of privacy and the lack of respect that comes with the security measures of ill run government agencies. Who doesn’t? They don’t like the smell or the food or idea of sitting on a flight for a few hours and being off, up in the air. They don’t like it on principle.
For me, though, airports feel good.
Everybody is waiting. They are waiting to be home for the holidays. They are waiting for their wives or their girlfriends at the airport to greet them with a small peck on the cheek or something a bit more passionate. Brothers picking up sisters, smiling widely as they see their counterpart after months away at school or their own, new homes. Kids flying to relatives, little ones lost looking for their gate nervously. The businessmen have their computers open, working a bit as they bide their time. One guy’s asleep, big black headphones being slipped off by gravity as his head tilts back. And we all wait.
The airport is a place where we are all in transit. It’s not really a place, but something between places.
It’s a place where minds can be clear.