Chapter4 Airport inside | In The Script

My black wingtips click on the concrete; I wrap the tan straps of my trench coat snug at my waist and follow the white striped path leading up to the terminal doors. The depression of my shoes on the terminal carpet is slight.

The carpeting is the inverse of shag, the flooring equivalent of five o’clock shadow, carpet stubble at best. The colorful, worn designs on the faded gray carpet are no distraction to the collage of filth and grime injected via footwear by countless passers-by over the years.

The true scare of bio-terror seems closer than we thought, a mixture of international unknowns cultivating beneath our feet as we speak.

My constant useless thoughts and observations are probably not a far stretch from the cause of my current predicament: being unsuccessful. Even with this in mind, my attention is drawn to the lines of people crossing paths between gates. Clearly there are walking rules in play, drawing most everyone to the right side of the aisle, and seemingly preventing any head on collisions.

There are, however, the interesting exceptions; the minority interactions, unique to the group, but observable in public all the time. The “rushers” are those distinguished persons heading down the center of the aisle, traveling twice the speed of everyone else. The “weavers” stay on the right, hugging the sides & passing anyone too slow to tolerate.

My personal favorites are the “angle-walkers”. These are the unique individuals who walk along normally and then suddenly divert direction in a tangent across everyone else’s path. This is usually done with an innocent aura of nonchalance, similar to the mindset of those trying to cross three lanes of traffic at rush hour; simply because that’s the way they need to go.

These behaviors take place in public almost everywhere, just more noticeably here at such a concentrated level. Hundreds of people rushing to make boarding times while maneuvering rolling luggage in a confined space makes for quite the display of human behavior, striking the attention of even the most avid people-watcher.

I make for the lower level exit doors, down the escalator, past baggage claim. I opt for the stairs instead of the escalator to avoid the “turbo-rushers”, those taking advantage of the already moving steps by also walking along like normal. This is almost scary on the moving pathways, where I think many rushers may first get their start, quickly addicted to the thrill of speed, passing crowds of unfortunates, limited to walking in only normal strides.

As I approach the sliding glass exit doors, a man sitting across from baggage carousel B picks up a dropped tortilla chip, bringing it disturbingly to his lips.

Who would even guess that we are a society in fear of bio-terror?

Excerpt from novel “In The Script.”