Sunday, January 28, 2007
Short story for a collection inspired by a friend..
I sat in a strange airport looking like I'd lost everything that ever belonged to me. I was feeling like a brother from another planet. My luggage; I didn't know where it was, though I knew where it was going. I felt some kind of relief knowing that I still had my camera, my mac and other important items inside my carry on bag. I even had a change of underwear just in case I needed to be fresh when it came to that stuff. Traveling when everything goes wrong is the worse struggle a first-time-traveling-east brotha could experience. I was stuck in the Chicago airport. My luggage was on its way to LA without me and I could already picture somebody picking up my shit and walking right out the door with it. Even though they give you those baggage claim tickets, LA is notorious for not even checking. You can pick up a bag and walk right out the door, no problem unless the owner sees you doing it.
As I sat in Chicago, I decided to just chill and wait for the delayed flight to arrive. I had no choice when it came to waiting but I did have a choice on whether I'd sit there in a state of woe-is-me reflection or would I make the best of this situation and open myself up to observing my surroundings. I chose to observe. I couldn't help it. There were so many different people walking by with determined looks on their faces. Everybody trying to get somewhere. You could tell which person had either been here before or possibly lived here because they were relaxed and even smiling a bit. They could walk forward and not really pay attention to the confusing signs pointing in all directions. Then I noticed the people that I could relate to more. They looked confused. Their faces were scrunched up, trying to figure out which direction to go. Some looking for gates and other's looking for the direction of the baggage claim. I could definitely relate to what they were going through. I snapped a few pictures. My camera was like my best friend. I could point it in any direction and somehow capture something interesting. I was photographing shoes, legs, body parts, people in nearby airport cafe's deep in conversation, and others at the magazine rack, thumbing through the pages. My camera is digital so I basically experienced instant gratification. I took the shot and looked at the results. I was having fun...
Then I noticed this young lady, lost in a crowd of travelers that had just gotten off of an arriving plane. I took a shot of her pulling headphones out of her purse. She was cute. She looked asian; probably japanese. She sat down in the waiting area across from mine. She was dressed in this brown heavy looking coat, perfect for Chicago weather though it didn't look like this was her last stop. I took a shot of her. She dropped her bag and knelt down really fast so I missed. Then she sat down and appeared to have turned on her music because she was bobbing her head a little bit, closing her eyes and smiling. I took a picture of that. I had to shoot three quick shots before I captured the moment perfectly. People were walking by and blocking my view. I felt like a stalker when others were watching me photograph this lady but I didn't care. Once I was able to block out other's looking at me, I was in a whole nother zone. It was just me and her; this mystery asian lady. I was in sync with the bobbing of her head. It was almost as if I could hear the music she was listening to. I captured more shots of her. She moved her head slightly to the left and I snapped away. She smiled when looking to the right; I caught her again. There was something special about her. I could feel her spirit and I imagined different scenarios. Not so much me with her in the romantic sense but me just getting to know her and seeing her in a different light. That kind of shine that allows me to see and witness the real person underneath those headphones.
I got lost in my imagination to the point where I didn't see the young lady get up from her seat. I thought maybe someone was blocking my view but when they moved, she was no longer in that seat. I visually searched around but didn't see her. I celebrated quietly the fact that I'd captured her with my camera. It was a beautiful way to spend my time waiting in a Chicago airport for a delayed flight. Two seconds later, they announced it was time to board the plane. One minute after that I'd left my seat to stand in line. I'd seen the young asian lady sitting down in the very same seat that I sat in. I smiled and when she looked in my direction; she saw me. She looked away but then she looked again. She bashfully released her own smile in my direction. I boarded the plane feeling light on my feet with a beautiful vision to see in my dreams as I slept on the plane for the next few hours. When I arrived in LA, I prayed that my luggage was waiting for me and if it wasn't, I was at least feeling good enough to not let my anger get the best of me. I'd have to thank that lovely lady for the good feeling.
Copr.2007 Brief Moments Of Wished Upon Destiny