Things I’ve Done to Kill Time While Waiting at the Airport

Accidentally went first to the wrong terminal. Had a minor panic attack while searching for the right terminal.

En route, stopped to try on designer sunglasses at the upscale duty free shop. Ate free samples of designer chocolates at the upscale duty free shop.

Struggled clumsily to get all of my belongings in and out of a bathroom stall with me.

Remembered far too late that I still had the mail key of the apartment I just left behind.

Regardless of being hungry or not: purchased a $15 airport sandwich. Then ate it, and my sadness, all alone — while staring out the window at tiny runway workers.

Picked at my fingernails until they hurt and were perfect.

Took out my notebook and composed a heartfelt letter to an old boyfriend — which I will never send.

Perused trashy romance novels at the airport newsstand because I forgot my own book in another terminal.

While standing in the airport newsstand, became suddenly struck by a profound and overwhelming surge of gratitude. Realized how truly special my life experiences have been, even though I’m also grieving to say goodbye to a city — this beautiful foreign city — where I have lived and lost and grown.

Attempted, and failed, a Sudoku.

Smiled and winked at a little girl who waved her doll at me.

Reflected on the nature of love. Stendhal was a skeptic, but Proust, whose ideas I prefer, wrote that love emerges from absence — from the wanting of something inaccessible. Love is giving something you haven’t got to someone who doesn’t exist, said Lacan. I always was a sucker for the romantics.

Called home to say I was happy to be returning after all this time.

Eavesdropped on a group of nuns discussing how much they liked the movie Carol.

Fell asleep on the floor, 30 minutes before my flight. Nearly missed my plane.