So many, do you notice them? So many walking encased in bubbles
, hardly aware of their surroundings: Hurry-hurry, rush-rush. Hundreds on a mission, striding with purpose. Ignorant of the mini-dramas unfolding within their sight if only they were to lift their heads. Little pieces of a greater whole
collide together, bump bump, oblivious to all but their own fragment
Did I tell you I like to have layovers in my travels? Have I confessed the appeal of the unhurried stroll from one end of an airport to the other, with time to savor this chocolate here or that newstand article there? Have I admitted to my secret obsession of stealing furtive glances into strangers' microcosms? If I keep my eyes open, I can see all of the hellos and goodbyes, both fervent and restrained, all of the emotions guarded and unguarded. I am a mental snapshot of feeling junkie. Here, here is the human condition. Here are your stories that I shamelessly look over your shoulder to read through a chink in your invisible force field.
I step to the left of this one. His head is ducked down, stepping along at a clipped pace. He is expecting that the sea of people will part before him. I catch a glimpse of the furrowed brow as his eyes pour over a report. He would have been better off on the people mover, yet the crowd steps to the left or to the right, just as I do as if invisible bumper guards are in play. Perhaps he has an important meeting tomorrow and that is why the worry. He could be heading anywhere, toward a promotion, toward a big sale, toward saving his job. He is clearly moving toward something.
That one, his eyes are brimming near to pouring. He is flying away. It doesn't matter where. It only matters that it is in a direction opposite to where he wants to be. I want to ask why. Why are you going away? What are you running from? Why don't you stay? I won't of course. His bubble is fragile. He wraps it like a shield around him. He lifts pain filled eyes that catch my own for an instant and I am engulfed in the heartache this stranger feels. I avert mine feeling I have trespassed too much already.
This family is going on vacation. Giggly Bubbly Girl and Boy Bouncing Dinosaurs are both oblivious to Distressed Dad trying to negotiate new connection by cell phone due to delayed flight. They know Superdad will get them to Disney. One more call and he is smiling again, herding the rambunctious two down one of the spokes. They are going toward AND away. Sometimes you need to do that.
This woman eats lunch by herself tucked into a corner hiding behind a newspaper. Perhaps she wants to disappear into the woodwork and be unnoticed within the multitudes. It is easy to melt away here. I can not read her, her bubble is locked tight against the world.
Now this one, she is a towards girl. There is an air of anticipated expectation about her. She is reapplying seashell lipstick, smoothing her hair, her pupils are wide as she scans the vast sea of people, searching. And then a deep voice calls out from the corridor. "Becca!" Her face lights up. Big grin as she runs to meet MrShimmery eyes who twirls her in a bear hug that never ends. It appears they were both heading towards this place. I wonder where they will travel together from here.
We are at the hub of a wheel. The spokes radiate out in all directions. How easy it would be to exchange tickets. Do you feel the pull? The call tugs at me. Which direction will my life take today? Which spoke will you travel? Is it an away day? Or is it a toward? Will you join me in the space between? Give the wheel a spin. It's time to fly.