Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Briefly seated

Airline boarding areas are constrained places.  Once there, you are reluctant to leave its confines, metaphorically constrained by thoughts of missing your plane. There are the literal constraints of too few seats and electrical outlets, combined with too much luggage. Is the crowding deliberate, I wonder?  Is it a slow compression, pushed ever closer to our soon-to-be fellow passengers, getting us ready to be packed into the cabin. We eye each other. Will he be noisy? How much stuff do they have? Will she be sitting next to me?

At Burbank I was fascinated by the number of briefcases that required their own seats. Fully half the chairs in the waiting area were occupied by briefcases and coffee cups, chaperoned by hefty guys dressed in flying-on-business clothes — blue shirts, no ties, sports jackets and grey pants. Their arms were crossed, their legs splayed out. They, for the most part, stared straight ahead. Don’t tread on me.  Arrayed along the wall are bearded guys in shorts and flip-flops, chic young women, and one grey-haired professor, earphones plugged in to a podcast. #privilege

In the Phoenix waiting area there are seventeen wheelcharis lined up to board, their occupants icons of confinement.  They are boxed in on one side by a railing, on the other by seats, with barely a foot between them. Meanwhile the woman on the end of my row repeatedly does a series of core exercises, her feet raised off the floor, beating time to an unheard tune.  We all bounce with her, the connected chairs neatly delivering the impulses down the line. #physics

1 comment:

  1. Was there ever a time when air travel was fun? I seem to remember it being a pleasant adventure. Now? Not so much. Still, I'm grateful for the opportunity and resources to be able to travel to places I need to be.