The Terminal

It’s a game he plays while sitting in an
airport terminal waiting for his flight.

The game is called “Why Are You Here?” the
answers to which are ever and only known
to the people about whom he guesses. He
doesn’t ask.

There is a fresh-faced couple in their
mid-forties waiting for a flight to Florida
mid-winter: a much-needed and anticipated
getaway.

There is the fifty-something, hunched-over
man with what looks like tortoise-shell
armor on his back protecting him from his
grief at the death of his wife whose body
he is taking home.

There is the white-haired, seventy-two-year-
old woman sitting reading a mystery novel
on her way to a grandchild’s college graduation.

There are four military-uniformed, pimply-
faced boys joking with each other on their
way to Ft. Knox, Kentucky for final training
before being shipped off to the middle-east.

There is the thirty-something man in brand
name casual wear doing crossword puzzles.
It is June and he is on his twenty-first
flight of the year for business.

There are the two guys in the bar
discreetly holding hands on their
way to one of their homes to talk
to parents about marriage.

He doesn’t know if any of those people
are in the terminal for the reasons he
conjectures but there are people who are
somewhere, some terminal somewhere, for
those reasons and countless others
because he has been there for many of
those same reasons.

Then there is the call for his flight.
He knows where he is going but he will
leave the conjecturing up to others
who might be playing the game.

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