Airport Dreams.

Year Two. Month Five. #SEA.

I love airports.

I know that may seem impossible to believe, but I actually do love them. I love the long corridors and big windows. I love the moving walkways that make you feel as though you are zooming in on a poignant moment in your own film. I love the kisses goodbye and the tearful hellos. I love the wonder in people's eyes as they enter magical (boarding) doors to unknown lands.

That being said, I'm like all of you. I do hate the cranky crowds, the same old soggy airport food, the terribly overused bathrooms, the noise and the constant longing to be back in your own bed.

But here's a secret: have you ever been at an airport when it's asleep?

Airports are almost like people. They change in attitude depending on the time of day. Even some of the busiest airports in the world have lulls.

When I was a kid, I grew up only blocks from General Mitchell Airport in southeast Wisconsin. When the summer nights were long and hot and us kids couldn't settle down, our parents would do the sensible thing and take us down the street to the air-conditioned airport to burn off some energy.

The airport at that hour was always quiet, with the sleepy TSA man waving us through the empty security lanes. In a pre-9/11 world we ran around the boarding area, pressing our noses to the glass to see which planes were tucked in for the night. I remember the smell of matted down carpet, scrubbed one too many times with some chemical, the feel of it scratchy on our sunburned summer skin.

If we were lucky, our parents would take us across the street from the airport for a scoop of frozen custard at Jessica's, and we would watch the last few planes take off into the sunset from the back of our Geo Metro hatchback. And then us kids would yawn and wave goodbye to the sleepy airport, and head home for our own sugary dreams of airplane wings and faraway lands.

Tonight my Seattle airport is getting sleepy. I am no longer a kid, but I still find myself pressing my hand against the glass, encompassing the smudgy evidence of a smaller hand from hours earlier. The sun is setting, and most of the planes are heading back to the hangar for the night.

Goodnight, passengers. Goodnight, airplanes. Goodnight, airport.

Hello, world.


Popular Posts