Away we go..last minute rush..do you have, did you remember, did it get packed, where is my phone, are the cats out, where are the keys…..the click of a door locking…in the car..out the drive..on the road..off to fly the friendly skies…
Three story parking…finding a space, writing down the location, the slam of the trunk, the gathering of belongings, the clatter of spinner wheels over the concrete, the whoosh of the electronic doors…in the coolness..Finally.
Dig out the I.D…hand over the proof of who we are..or who we want to be? Weigh the bags, praying for lightness….and off again…time to make a friend….blurred lines, bare your feet…raise your hands, show them you are not a terrorist, smile big…finally, put on your damn shoes….
Scurry faster now, towards a gate….there she blows, there she waits…red and silver with wings, ready to take you where you need to be…
Queue up, shuffle like cattle, up goes the bag overhead; find a spot which will be yours at least for the next several hours.. Hard seat, tiny window, elbow to elbow..another new friend.
Settle in, find the head phones, crank up a little Elaine Elias, “Moving Me On”….sit back and take it in…closing eyes….resting up for what will come.
And it begins…once again.
New places..built up with great expectations…unfortunately, built on quicksand and the image shimmers..it is always a mirage.
Here more than most. Vegas, where dreams are lost on a minute by minute basis. The lights flashing, the bells a clanging, the music, the plastic smiles. Hawkers on every corner.. try this, must see that, what I deal I have for you today. Smoke and mirrors, everywhere, 24/7.
Working early or working late, there are always people sitting at the slots. Usually cigarette in hand with smoke you can see but not smell. It is pulled into infinity and the aroma is hidden by vanilla or gardenia or whatever is the scent of the day. Unfortunately the scent stays with you just like the smoke use to do. It lies on your hair and catches a ride on your clothing. Often it is so heavy you can taste it like a like a bad remembrance of a long ago meal. Even days after being home, the luggage finally was assigned a spot in the garage instead of the closet…must give everything time to air out and return to normal.
Too much, all the time. A city that is not getting over itself anytime soon. A playground for many with some swearing never to return..but they probably do. The lure can be irrestable to those just going to try it out once. So they said, so they promised, so they swore. All for naught.
Next stop the Big Apple…to define it as overwhelming is understating. Large and larger…far as one can see, even on a cloudy day. Different lights and the bells are replaced with the honking of horns. Is everyone always that upset and in a hurry or do they just like to create more chaos in a narrow street, single-car wide with three jockeying for positions? As much as I am happy that I am not having to drive in this city, the cab rides can be just as undaunting. Once inside the vehicles, the drivers are polite, though as a close friend shared, he often noticed hearing what could pass for suicide bomber music playing softly in the background. Inside you are under their protection and every effort seems to be made to get you where you want to go as rapidly as possible, even if one says ” no big hurry”…well evidently there is some sort of hurry somewhere. Every effort is also made to explain to other drivers that are in the way, that they should not be there…in the way that is…and this is done in a Morse code only known to cab drivers and generally are either long stand-on honks of the horn or if multiple cars are in the way, a staticatto of blasts are evidently needed, so that everyone gets their own warning. I am still working on this deciphering of this communication.
A memorial has been built. Heroes died in a senseless, cowardly act. There was a void in the city that has been filled with the names of those that lost their lives. The darkness of the granite reflects the sadness in the hearts of those left behind and the moving water seems to flow into infinity..an infinity of a better place for those that are gone. Hushed are the tones of those that speak and many a tear has fallen on this hallowed ground to be sure. It is true today as it was the day of… we will never forget.
where to next? Stay tuned..