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  • I am sitting in JFK airport, waiting to go to Aruba. It is a very grey July morning, and everything outside is the same shade as everything inside, except that there are airplanes out there. One of the planes is backing away from the gate I am waiting for my plane to arrive at. I wouldn’t want to parallel-park a jumbo-jet.

    There were bombings in London today.

    When I got here I set off the metal detectors. I had separated all of my carry-on into those grey plastic trays, stepped into their magical magnet tunnel, and set off the alarm. They made me take my shoes off and put them through the x-ray machine. I had no socks on and someone dropped a computer on my bare foot. It hurt. I asked if I could run my feet through the x-ray machine with my shoes so that I might assess the damage, but no, that was not permissible. I put my shoes back on and walked to this seat in front of a large window to watch the jet-planes parallel park.

    There are two little brown and grey birds in the terminal with me. I doubt that they remember how they got here. They are sitting in front of the same great window as myself. Occasionally they flutter toward the ceiling or toward the other side of the terminal, but they always return to gaze out the window.

    I wonder if they look for the way out, or if their search for crumbs and condensation so devours their time that they are prohibited from returning home, or more simply (or not) from living their lives correctly.

    Someone is paging a man with a Latino name to the flight to San Juan. He does not come. Clearly, someone wants him to leave this terminal and take flight, but maybe he has changed his mind. Maybe he is skipping out on his honeymoon, or maybe he doesn’t want to go home, or maybe he is stuck in the bathroom with a kidney stone. Maybe the plane he is supposed to be on will crash and his new wife will die and he’ll wish he had been with her, or maybe it crashed and he was supposed to be going home and he’ll wish he had crashed too so that his mother will regret ever trying to get him home and for driving him away in the first place. Or, maybe, he will worship kidney stones for the rest of his flightless life.

    The two birds who had begun to argue while a man with a Latino name missed his flight are sitting in front of a very large, very grey window – watching metal objects propel the wingless skyward.
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