Hour 6: American Airports

In Newark Liberty Airport Station, America is two men in airport security uniforms sitting in wheelchairs.  America is hiding in multicolored faces, eyes, hairstyles, standing in line, staring at screens, talking in many languages, complimenting the air and echoing from the concrete pillars and tile floors, scuffed with the oil of a thousand handprints, the skidding soles of a ten thosand shoes, and countless spilled beverage stains.

America is various patterns of family, standing around a luggage carousel, old and young, man and woman, child, children, students, filed through aisles and ribbon-drawn walkways, waiting for the weight they drag behind them. America is hardshell suitcases on wheels, masks under noses, protective cardboard sleeves for 24 oz. coffee ups, signs, music, symbols in lights orchestrating the competing rivers of people moving.

In Newark Liberty Airport Station, Terminal B, at 4:45 pm on Saturday, America is 3 women behind a check-in counter for a Polish airline, a blonde with sparkling earrings, a cream colored woman kindly adorned with a navy hijab that at he’s her attendants’s uniform, and a brunette with with a wide smile and perfect teeth. Talking, questioning, directly, indirectly, assertive, scanning passports,

America is hordes of people shuffling, crowds gathering, and sitting together on the floor. Flatbed carts rumbling down the corridors transporting silver kegs of beer. America is someone singing “I need love” and their words rise above the incoherent jumble of languages unchecked, and spontaneous.

America is the empty spaces that form from the ebbing of the crowd. Remnants, wreckage, America is the elevator doors shutting on pressing people trying to squeeze into maximum occupancy. Oh, the beauty. Oh, the disgust. Oh, the mundane!


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