terminal d23

things i finally understand:

airport gates are waiting rooms for the terminally bored.

everyone here is a traveler. a story in the making.  they while away the hours, checking and double-checking boarding passes, muttering quietly.

the austere korean man with sharp cheekbones and pitted eyes glued to his laptop hates children.

every night he returns home, his wife cries into her arms and clutches at fistfuls of hair.  she consults doctors and psychics to explain why she's barren.

she never understands the explanations.

beneath the surface the austere man crows in triumph every month.  then he shines his shoes, slips on a silver watch, boards his business flight,

and thanks god for his youth.

the woman in the sheer polka dot blouse and rigidly curled hair has not has sex in years.

she turns fifty-one this month.

and feels her pallid yellow jowls sagging slowly under the weight of her concealer. the eyes framed by red gucci knock-off frames are weakening around the corners and it terrifies her.

keeps her up every night.

she sits primly now, knees drawn together, surveying the old, tired men around her.

she remembers a time when so many boys loved her.

she remembers being nineteen and beautiful, with large wicked eyes and long, willowy legs that unleashed secrets and sighs with careless abandon.

i sit in the middle.

a stranger in my skin.