Airport blues and last goodbyes

In the car ride, I can hold on to you, look at you, appreciate how wonderful you are. I look at your face and I see it. The lines of your cheekbones. Every bit of stubble. Your eyelashes. Your arm is warm. The car smells of the water evaporating off our umbrellas.

In the terminal, it is all gone – all chaos now. People tripping over the bags. Toeing the line of politeness in edging through positions in line. Trying to offer wan smiles to useless attendants for any assistance they might bother to offer. Gone is the thoughtful consideration of You, You the Wonderful. Now my thoughts flick quickly around the airport – the screens, the aisles, the booths, the computers, gates, doors, zones, halls, atria, walkways – STOP.

And we find ourselves out front of security, stepping aside to let the crowds pass, at our goodbye. I kiss you, I hold you. How can anyone at this point properly appreciate the feeling of you in my arms? How can anyone focus the mind past the ache of impending loss, to savour the last moments before you really are gone? The staff man there is saying that only travellers can be behind the black line, and we’re both behind the black line, and will he try to separate us and shove me away, am I being a bad person by ignoring him, but we’re not blocking traffic, and I wish I was coming with you-

And then suddenly I’m letting go of your hand and waving, stifled tears running down my face. I walk backwards, and you start to head through the line. You pass behind the wall out of sight, and I turn to go. Wait, should I have jumped out again from behind the wall for one last look? Were you expecting me to? But now you’re probably gone so maybe I shouldn’t.

I’m watching for flight updates now. Thinking of you. Counting the days – the hours, the seconds. I love you.


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