Have you ever been to the airport that early?
There is something about it. The emptiness, the sound of luggage straps rolling with no luggage on them, the smell of floor detergent. The list of departures - places to go, things to see. Makes you feel like something great is about to happen, you’re young and free and off for an adventure. Of course nothing adventurous happens but that’s another story. There is you and the suitcase, and documents and the smell of detergent.
I checked in my bag, said goodbye to M. and went through the security gates (No body scanners ha!). I’ve found an empty seat! Actually, a hundred of them. There was no one around the gate and I still had two and a half hours to kill. I deserved some sleep. I curled up on a metal bench, put the bag under my head, and covered myself with a coat. Made me feel a bit like a homeless person, but who cares. I let the metal piece pinch in my hip and slowly fallen asleep. I woken up shaking from the cold with a twisted (at least it felt like it) hip. The sun was rising.
I got on a plane, headphones on :
I’m leaving your town again
and I’m over the ground that you’ve been spinning
and I’m up in the air so baby hell yeah,
well I can see your house from here,
if the plane goes down, damn…
Nothing better than a comforting song for a departure.
I felt huge, wet tear coming down my cheek. And then another one. I found myself sitting on a shitty plane, looking outside, weeping like a baby. Not that I don’t cry. I do. But I have never cried leaving. I guess things have changed again. I had nothing to run away from anymore.
So the shitty plane was 40 minutes late. I had ten(!) minutes to catch another one. There is no better awaking, than a fast run with the bags, in search of a right gate. I made it! I knew it was a right plane the moment I saw the crowd: musicians, hipsters, Jews and angry Poles. Yes! I was on my way to New York!
I was lucky enough to sit next to the window. The girl sitting next to me was nice and suspiciously quiet. The worst nightmare on the plane, except for gastric flu is sitting in the middle of an isle. There is nothing to lean head on, so you end up passing out, breathing through your mouth, looking ridiculously stupid and waking up every ten minutes with terrible neck ache.
Being as comfortable as possible on 40 cm2 that they offer in economy class, I leaned my head on the wall and fallen asleep. I woken up with The Walkmen’s Red Moon in my head… and freaked out momentarily when I saw the nice and suspiciously quiet girl swinging back and forth in her seat like she had orphan disease. Ok calm down, she had a book on her lap and was praying. That’s a thing about religion it will scare the shit out of you one way or another.
-Chicken or sea food Miss?
I looked at the stewardess like I’ve never seen a human being before. The dinner was served! I lifted the plastic cover - there was something on the plate, looking like a mixture vomit and spinach. Whatever it was on the other plate, was pink, covered with white sludge and probably was crawling not so long ago.
I stabbed it with a plastic fork. One, two, three…(I heard my stomach squirm). It turned out that the green throw up wasn’t that bad at all.
I woken up and we were going down through the clouds ( I've looked at clouds form both sides now, from up and down and still somehow its cloud illusion, I recall I really don’t know clouds at all) we started to circle above the water and then I saw it - dark, gray and ugly as never before – Brooklyn from above. But there was something beautiful about it and it made me smile. I also started feeling nervous. I had to get through the pass at the airport.
Through the massive airport’s windows I saw glimpse of Manhattan from the distance. It was an hour away. Experienced by the visa/embassy/clerk in the window/ nightmare I felt my hands shaking. I started nibble dried skin around my right thumb which, of course began bleeding momentarily (very helpful!). The officer checked my documents, wrote weird signs and letters in my passport which I think were a secret message to the Unidentified Flying Objects, and asked me some questions (I swear for whatever reason I tried to hide my British accent).
Stamp! Welcome to America – I’ve heard.
He actually did say that. Do they get these lines from the movies?
I picked up my bag. Now I just had to get to the apartment.