I almost wore a surgical mask to the airport a week ago. I considered how it would make the people around me feel; if I were them I would have assumed surgical-masked Laura had some sort of respiratory infection, and consequently I would have tried to breathe as little as possible. I didn’t end up wearing it, but mostly because I was rushed out of the house and forgot to grab it.
I’m flying Spirit today — again — because I can’t afford a flight to Chicago on American Airlines, or Delta, or even Air Tran. (Other people evidently can’t afford any other airline either, because there are hundreds of people around me, and the flights to Baltimore, Dallas, and Chicago are “in an overbooked situation.” Spirit truly is the bottom of the barrel.) And as I sat by the gate, I wished that I had grabbed my surgical mask, because I heard three different people coughing around me in a span of 10 seconds and I knew that that cold would be coming for me. But mostly I knew that that cold would be coming for me because I can’t step on an airplane without catching a cold. I thought I’d start to feel it just as I was in the middle of my Chicago vacation.
An airport is a weird place. When you are in an airport, you and nearly everyone around you is in a weird, liminal space. No one really wants to be here. Some of us (me) dread the illness that we will come down with by sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with a cold-ridden person. Some of us will end up next to the crying baby, or the guy that refuses to stop talking on his cell phone until the flight attendant has to call security. I guess some people are excited about going wherever it is that they are going, but I defy them to continue feeling excited while waiting in the Spirit Airlines’ terminal.
So we are all there at some point and we all have a story of why we are there, and maybe the Spirit Airlines’ terminal is a little bit like life, or at least what my life has felt like for the past few years. We’re/I’m waiting to move and feeling stuck, and praying for health but surrounded by sickness. But the sun is still shining in my face, and change is coming, and one day I won’t be afraid anymore. And one day, I won’t have to fly Spirit anymore. And that will be a great day indeed.
Previously from Laura Creel:
♦ Welcome to the Miami Heat Family, Boomer
♦ A Reflection on Lent
♦ Viral Video of the Week: Wheel of Fortune Domination
♦ Arthur Chu Dominates Jeopardy!, Haterz Foiled Again
♦ Enough With the Pizza Already: Reactions to the 2014 Academy Awards