Sunday, 7 January 2018

Arrivals

Time flows differently in an airport.

Elsewhere, it draws parallel lines as it flows through the world, perhaps bulging and slowing at the start of a school summer holiday, and narrowing to a sprint at the start of September.

But at an airport, these annual blips alter moment by moment, circling and whirling around in a Gallifreyan prayer wheel, sketching spirals and whirls like a child's spinning top with a pen attached.

Pre check in, people gather at coffee shops and chat, time trickling past like honey as they wait for their holiday to really begin. At the arrivals gate, it slows, observing the waiting crowds who anticipate imminent loved ones, drawing out the expectation as long as possible. At the departure gate it practically stops for ten minutes, right until the last call goes out when it speeds up a hundred times, tricking the latecomers who are now sprinting through the airport.

Five minutes it took to write this, because I'm in a slow patch right now and I'll receive a message in 10 minutes, which will become about 20 minutes from now as the anticipation is teased out. Then a frantic ten seconds, which the clock will claim takes 23 minutes, then a two hour wait, which will be half an hour of seconds measured. Then 15 minutes at the gate, by the end of which I will be eligible for my pension.

I love airports.