Life is Busting out ALL Over!

I’m sitting in a chair in the SKY

Posted on: November 20, 2008

Greetings from O’Hare airport, where I am sitting here WAY too early for my flight. (After spending a year traveling via air for my first job, I mastered the 30 minute arrival before flight, through security and on board strategy. Alas that was before 9/11 but I still don’t show up before the preferred TWO hours, I mean really. But living with my parents, I’m exposed to their philosophies and getting to the airport before anyone else seems to be one of them). Anyway, I’m travelling to the warmer south for a big interview little trip and so here I am. Excited, nervous and happy to get the hell out of the biting wind and snow flurries.

imagesI love coming to the airport, any airport will do. Always have but I think the true enduring love came from my year a sorority consultant, when I discovered if I fibbed about my departure time being earlier than it actually was, I could spend HOURS at the airport ALONE and MUTE. Trust me, when spending 20 hours a day peppered with questions and always being the new guy and an official visitor, being alone and mute was amazing.

Today, I’m flying United and was pleasantly surprised I got to make the exciting trip to Concourse C. In order to get to Concourse C, you have to basically go down into an underground walkway (underneath where the planes sit for Concourse B). Walkway is pictured above with fancy smancy neon lights in fun shapes and colors. Enhanced by new age music, the lights are timed and reveal literally a rainbow of colors.

When I was a kid, I remember when this opened and my parents took us to see it. We spent time just standing on the moving walkway, fascinated by the lights and the moving walkway. I’m not sure if we had to pick someone up and my parents turned it into a field trip or we just went for the hell of it. It was the 80s, if anything goes was ever an edict in airports, like almost everything, it probably did then.

I remember being so thrilled by this neon lights walkway and the music, it was like an experience for my senses I had never seen (I also can’t remember if I had already visited Epcot, which would make sense if I did because it’s all very Epcot-y, those lights and sensory things). But I do remember how special I thought the walkway to Concourse C was that day.

I’ve been back through occasionally, I seldom fly United and therefore haven’t been numb to the experience although with technology and flashy lights that make up our day to day lives now, it’s easy not to pay attention. Today as I was entering the walkway, I was struck by the memory of seeing it for the first time. I listened to my emotions, soaking it in again, trying to remember what was so cool about it now. It doesn’t appear to be as dark, therefore the lights aren’t as startling as I remember and the music is barely a whisper.

But as I stood on the moving walkway, I smiled at the memory, thankful that I was once so entranced by  something benign as an underground walkway in an airport, and grateful for the journey has brought me back to see it again.


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musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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