Friday, January 23, 2009

The Long Goodbye

As it came to be..I am stuck. Missed my connection at the Seattle airport, or more formerly the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, or to the well traveled...Sea-Tac. Nonetheless here I am, in limbo, with a perfectly good excuse to do absolutely nothing. At the same time, I am held hostage behind a humorless and automatonic wall of 3-ounces of fluid in a bottle, do you have anything sharp on you, take off your shoes...please.

I tried to settle in with a good book and bide my time. But the mystic, romantic lure of the "city" is hard to resist. It is intoxicating seductive. The rich and powerful mingle with the common. The culinary fare from simply to sublime and the rich aromatic coffee pots that never empty. From here, the world is only an airline ticket away. Mesmerized by the Arrivals and Departures marque, I watch as flights to the exotic, far reaching and noble cities of the world lay a mere departure gate away. From A to Z, well from A to Y (Yakima in case you're wondering) are all within my reach. Ah yes...Calagry...Copenhagen...Londen...Kelowna...I have no idea, but it sounds cool. The airport is an international city without any residents. One without bounders. It's a city that never sleeps, kept awake tossing and turning by a million conversations. Business deals are made and hearts broken.

My broken. A soldier leaves for Iraq. His wife clings to his jacket as he buries his face in her long hair. She is more willing to embrace the raw public emotion then he. Tears stream down her face, her lower lip quivering. His little girl not really knowing what's happening...but sensing it as children really do...clutches at his leg, standing atop the sneakers , a painful reminder of the soldier's youth. None of them are willing to break their physical bond. Yet all the while, the aircraft boards passengers and an aloof and disaffected voice from loud speaker calls the names of passengers not yet boarded. He says, "I gotta go." probably louder then he means to. She kisses him, scoops the child up and leaves. She doesn't look back...I don't think she can. He stands frozen, for just a moment, as if he's forgotten where he's at. He looks up, straightens his jacket and boards the aircraft. He doesn't look back...I don't think he can. And suddenly I wished he was wished all of them were going to Calagry...Copenhagen...Londen and yes, even Kelowna.

I get on the plane...I don't look back...I know I can't.

The magic of the "city" has faded and I want to go home.


Paul said...

Another very nice post, Rick. And I used to think photogs couldn't write! (Well, some of them can't write captions; "jubilate" isn't really a word, though y'all are trying hard to make it one.) But I digress. Really like your site. Great visuals, and some deep thinking and honest emotion. And you DO get around a lot. Keep up the good work. PO

Anonymous said...

love that image