They came towards me like three amazons, sharpening into focus as if walking out of the mist. Tall people find each other in life I thought to myself. I was bleary eyed and foggy. Just moments earlier I’d been thinking about how fascinating it is that you can be pretty functional on just two hours of sleep. All of your basic body processes continue and you’re conscious enough to remember to bring all of your luggage and your passport and you’re polite with the driver if a bit curt. I’d even had the presence of mind to boil two eggs before I left the apartment to bring with me as breakfast or a snack. Whenever the urge struck.
It struck once before the security check in and once after so there went my eggs. It was time to get my last croissant before leaving the country so I went to the godforsaken Exki. Really what is that place. A slightly upscale cafeteria. I dutifully stood in line and once I was at the cash register realized I could have gotten what I wanted just there and that I shouldn’t have waited in the line. It’s a beautiful day. Then I was sitting in the upholstered chair next to the duty free that sells bottles and bottles of liquor. I didn’t know that till later, because I was in a reverie of recalling the video art I’d seen the day before with _, who is unbearably handsome and a great museum partner and exactly the person I would like to fall in love with (though maybe it’s really _ in New York but he never asked me out again so wtf am I talking about), which I knew the moment I met him last summer but he doesn’t give me a single I’m attracted to you vibe and he has some twink boyfriend anyway and well isn’t falling in love with people who don’t fall in love back exactly my problem. When I’d told my friend/co-worker S that I was apprehensive about spending the day with a person I was too crushed out on she said focus on all of his flaws and why he’d be a terrible person to be with and I said that sounds awful I can’t do that. I mean I can if we were actually dating but when you’re pining they’re always perfect. Whatever, I saw the day as a practice of letting go and loving the FRIENDSHIP. The video art was by that super super famous guy he was fucking 26 when he made the piece and like why do I bother making art I thought when I watched it. It’s freakishly brilliant. He’s the poet of the 21st century! _ said and ok well that made me dislike him a little bit cuz I had an attack of ego and thought well so am I bitch.
So it was in this roiling maelstrom of longing, jealousy, self hating and insipid reflection that they emerged, slow motion, and once I stopped thinking about what a crappy lonely artist I am I realized it was him in the center flanked by what I took to be the model/girlfriend and a stylist. They all looked very LA. The m/g was in an oversized sweater and black leggings, the stylist wore all black and windswept bleached hair and he was wearing black jeans tucked into brown lace-up boots and a red t-shirt that, improbably enough, said REEBOK on the side. I moved from one unreality to this one, appreciative, mostly because I knew immediately that I would write this and honestly I need the practice. I got up to go to my gate and realized oh they’re all probably on the same plane, too, and that’s when I saw them in the duty free considering booze options.
At the gate I noticed this side entry stealth boarding line and I went for it. A man went up to the attendant and said are you boarding? She said yes. He flailed his arms around, but there’s been no announcement! I, too, found it disorienting but I was into the novelty. Subtle chaos is delicious. Plus it gave me more time to observe A, to assess what sort of feelings he stirred in me, and to confirm that he was wearing what I thought he was. I don’t know why I fixate so much on their clothes. He’s good-looking, not spectacular, but yeah totally cute. I tried googling to see if it really was his girlfriend but looks like he’s had a lot of them so hard to know. It must suck to be so publicly accountable for your sex life. In some online pictures he’s on vacation with girlfriends, shirtless wearing board shorts yuck. I realized I have absolutely no real feeling about him, or towards him. And yet the air had definitely shifted. The vastness of the departure hall with its curved ceilings had transformed into a secular cathedral and there he was, this unremarkable messiah, standing at the end of the priority line.
The m/g is taller than he is. They weren’t especially affectionate so maybe they’re not together. He was ahead of her on the jetway and they were both on their phones, which I determined to be a signal of how terribly they communicate. This adorable young Spanish guy (I saw the passport in his hand) in front of me looked back several times and smiled and so my heartbreak about _ (and _) was ameliorated, transubstantiated. We, the passengers in economy I mean, were subjected to the humiliation of walking through first and business classes on our way back to our sardine chamber so I saw A taking his luxurious window seat in the fourth row. It’s so fucking weird. I mean, we’re on the plane together and he’s probably all of 80 feet away for the whole flight.
photo by Marion Curtis