Sep 25, 2008

Stairwell No. N3T

The top of an airport parking deck is a terrible place to cry.

I try to imagine the choking in my throat is actually a walnut. In the shell. Salty -- no, not salty. In the shell. It would taste like dirt and leaves.

But it's just a lump and I don't cry, though I think about it.

Airplanes lumber, too large and landing -- none of them my flight and none of them hers so I can't think goodbye. I pass empty numbered stairwells and gridded rows of cars. I pass section T, section U, see section V, and wonder where I am and where she is, exactly now, wonder which way I’m going and when and how I'll follow her.

This is too metaphorical, too blatantly subconscious-literal, but there’s no one here but me.

A super-sized truck is trying to find a wide space in this overcrowded parking. The truck passes, turns, passes again and then I’m alone.

Most of my experiences at airports are surreal. The ones I most remember are inflated with despair. But these feelings, right there, on the roof of the parking deck where orange lines denote order and movable fences fix poor planning, these feelings are just real and just sad. They're not mythic-type feelings or made for stories.

I feel normal sized and I'm not even surprised by that. I know exactly when this happened. I remember. She said, Thank you.

The sun on the roof of the parking lot leaves all the cars colorless. There’s just a monotone metallic reflection in rows, for rows, and then there’s the edge of the parking deck and the new fall sky and the airplanes looking awkward.

I walk past a wall, canting crooked but trying to look deliberate. I really don't know where I am, but I know how I got here, know my car's here somewhere, maybe over there, and I'm OK.