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On Airplanes and Airports

Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always looked to the sky and was intrigued when a plane flew by.  I’d gaze up and wonder where they were headed, who was on the plane, and when I’d get a chance to get on one.  I was fascinated with the fact that a person could travel so many miles in such a short time.  A person could wake up in Colorado, and fall asleep in Panama.

As I got older, the airports, along with the planes, grabbed a hold of my intrigue.  It would be very hard to say a place, maybe besides a funeral, has more pure emotion than an airport.  It’s evident in every arrival and departing terminal in the world.  People are always coming or going, or in a sense, leaving someone and getting picked up by somebody else.  There are the tough goodbyes and the excitement of a hello.  There are flowers for a lucky girl that exits a plane, while there are tears upon the face of another as see watches someone get on one.  There are also quick embraces which indicate a timely return, while other embraces linger, signifying a possible length between the next embrace.

This has been the case for me for some time now.  I’ve always been on the go, always leaving, or always having to say goodbye.  The airport madness started in college with the goodbye to a girl leaving for a semester abroad.  Watching a person walk through security for a four month hiatus is never easy.  Her final wave before she turned the corner will forever be etched in my mind.

It hasn’t gotten any easier either.  I fell for a girl who was two states away, and it was an airplane that was the usual means of transportation, which meant many trips to the airport.  The thrill of the arrival would soon turn to despair of the departure, and the unknown of the next return.  I've stood way too many times before the sliding doors of the terminal entrance, turning back one last time to see welled up eyes staring back at me, or have seen those welled up eyes staring at me as I’ve drove off.  I wouldn’t wish that heartache and pain on anyone.

I vowed to someday make that better, and have yet to fulfill that promise, and may never get the chance, for I was the one that awoke in Colorado, and fell asleep in Panama.

I still find myself gazing up to the sky to watch a plane fly by, wondering the same thoughts as I did as a boy, on where they’re headed, and where the next flight may take me, but distance myself from the thoughts of an airport, for airports will forever, haunt me.