Re-entry. It is always after 9pm. Dark outside, while the iridescence of the terminal is uncomfortably bright. Those waiting around the gates are drearily wandering around or shifting restlessly in the uncomfortable plastic seats. I get my earphones in my ears and turn the iPod up loud as soon as I step off the airplane. “…Running with the street lights, laughing at the grave, he swears he’s gonna give it up, it’s never gonna be enough…” This is reality, I am back, and I am not ready.
It is usually a long walk to the middle of the terminal, two escalators down and a wait for the next train. I turn the music up louder as I escape into the limbo that is the airport. “…I just wanna be there, when you’re all alone, thinkin’ ‘bout a better day... “
I don’t sit in the train, I lean against one of the poles by the exit doors, close my eyes and try to balance without holding on – train surfing to the music roaring in my ears. “...I just wanna hold you, take you by the hand, tell you that you’re good enough, tell you that it’s gonna be tough...“
At the end of the ride, up the escalator, and I walk quickly. There is no one waiting for me on the other side of the simple barrier gate. There is no sign with my name, no hug or smile to meet me. I just keep walking. “…’cause I ain’t got a home. I’m out here all alone...“
At the baggage claim I know I will wait again. I hop up on the cages opposite the carousel. Sometimes I lie down on the cage and close my eyes and just lose myself in the music “...‘cause I ain’t got a home...“
Sometimes I sit, dangling my legs, watching the people, making up stories about their lives. Over there is a team of dancers returning from the Orange Bowl, all wearing matching sweatshirts and sporting perky ponytails. There is a guy in a suit, making an important looking phone call and a little boy racing around with his backpack on, trying to evade his parents inescapably swift grasp. A few feet away stands a cowboy – black hat and all – shifting uncomfortably in his boots. I close my eyes. “…Out here all alone, said I ain’t got a home...“
When my bag drops and rounds the carousel, I leave my perch. With one move, I pick up the bag, drop it on its wheels, pull the handle and move . . . down the escalator to door 413 and out into the bite of the cold, dark air that is Denver. My car is usually in K or L. I throw the bag in, jump in the drivers seat, iPod docked, and off, to pay for the parking and drive home.
It is dark and quiet when I get in the door. I have been gone awhile – it smells alittle stale. No Beau to greet me – I will pick him up tomorrow. I leave my bag downstairs dig out my cell phone charger and head up to bed. Tomorrow is an early day. Reality. I am back. I am not ready. “…I’ll forever roam. I ain’t got a home.”