“Excuse me sir, when does flight thirty-three arrive?”
Without looking up, I told her it would be roughly thirty minutes, and then another fifteen for baggage pick up. She gracefully thanked me, and went to sit down on the other end of the airport.
Her long blonde hair would naturally pick up wind and carry her wherever she needed to go. She hasn’t had a haircut in a while, I could tell. She only has five outfits and would rotate them throughout the week, she hasn’t earned money in a while, I could tell. Each time I would depart for my trip she would be there, and she would ask me the same question. Her tone would be the same: calm but shy. I wouldn’t dare say more than answer her question when she would stop by, I wouldn’t want to hurt her.
She changes on the outside each time I see her, but the one thing that stays constant is the baby carrier she always has. The baby carrier’s color is periwinkle with white stars embellished in the fabric of the seat, it always smelled brand new and never had a stain or scratch on it. Each time I would see her it would be empty, unused, and unloved.
I finish reading the paper and notice a pacifier on the ground still in the box and unopened. I look around and see no one has a baby near me, so I take the pacifier, and walk over to the young woman.
“Excuse me ma’am, you dropped this.”
She jumped when she saw me and stared at the pacifier, not sure what to do with it. Her face, covered with tiny little bruises and scars, was as pale as a ghost. I could tell she wanted to take the pacifier, but wouldn’t make the effort to reach for it.
“Oh, this isn’t mine—I’m sorry.” She mumbled to me.
A gloomy smile formed on my face, “I apologize, my mistake.” And I threw the pacifier in the trash can.
She formed a half smile, and I could feel her sorrow watching me as I walked away. The disappointment between the two of us was very intense, and I knew she could feel it like I could.
I glance at my watch, and decide to board my plane early. As I walk through the small hallway that leads to the plane, I notice the smell of cigarettes. The smell overpowered my nose and clouded my thoughts instantly. My wife would smoke, and all the smell did was remind me of how awful those small sticks of tobacco were. I haven’t smelled a cigarette so strongly in a few months, and it has made all the difference.
Right then, a baby cries. A simple sorrowful cry fills the hallway, and holds me to the ground. Out from the entrance of the plane, a flight attendant escorts a young man and a baby out to the hallway. The man had tattoos that covered his full arm and neck area, and the closer he moved to me the smell of cigarettes became more apparent. He had a young boy in his arms, maybe about two years old; and he was covered with tears.
I could tell the young man hadn’t slept; he had a mean expression on his face and vigorously walked past me with the child. The sorrow the boy expressed was the same sorrow I felt with the young girl: beautiful and disastrous. And with a quick glance behind my shoulder the baby boy’s green eyes stared back at me, and behind his blonde hair and sorrowful eyes, I could see the never ending story finally come to a close.
Artist: Megan Foukes
School: North Allegheny
Ian Peck from:
- posted: October 19, 2012
It is defintely cryptic, but it has a lot of effective imagry and sensory language too. I can see a bit of your poetic process going on here.