Friday, February 8, 2013

The Wasteland

A lonely wind blows through the concourse, rustling our hero's shirt as he stumbles along. He stares about with wide eyes, looking for someone, anyone, but finding no one. He passes banks of seating, all empty. He walks up to counter after counter, sometimes walking right by, sometimes coming close enough to lay a hand upon the polished surface before finding the 'manned station' to be unmanned. The fluorescents are bright and unrelenting, without even a hum or flicker to relieve the monotony. The floor is spotless, the carpet clean, empty seat after empty seat smooth and new-looking. Terrible muzak pumps out of the overhead speakers, just loud enough to be hard to ignore, on the very edge of familiarity as if they've taken a popular song and twisted it, adding in horn sections that should not be there, string solos that should not be anywhere, until the once familiar is now almost unrecognizable, until listeners spend their time piecing it together bit-by-bit, finally coming just to the edge of recognizing the tune – and then having some bizarre auto-drum track suddenly come to fore in the 'song', smashing the listener's concentration and they lose the thread, again and again, each near-miss acting as a mental ram, forcing them deeper and deeper into a pit of despair and madness.

Is this the opening scene of some post-apocalyptic movie? Did our hero wake from a coma to find the world had changed while he slept, the entire populace replaced with hordes of ravening undead all waiting to fall upon him as the last bit of warm moving food they'll ever see? Is he some time traveler, lost in a future he was trying to avoid, nuclear disaster having forced the human race to move underground and devolve into pale, large-eyed cannibals? Is our hero, in a word, screwed?

Nope. It's Logan International Airport at quarter of six on a Sunday morning as I start my trip back to Colorado for the week. I checked in, got my boarding pass and made my way through Security, all without seeing a single other passenger. Since I walked away from the (strangely cheerful and helpful) people at the Security checkpoint I haven't seen a single soul. I've walked past four gates on the way to a fifth without seeing anyone, and it's starting to freak me out. I have been though this airport many times: sometimes it's been uncrowded, empty seats here and there, but it's never, ever been completely empty before. If I've ever wondered what surreality felt like, now I know.

This is it.

The terrible Muzak on the outside is competing with the Twilight Zone theme I'm hearing from inside my head, and I'm starting to wonder if I've accidentally wandered into the waiting room known as Purgatory … or maybe Hell. This Muzak is truly, truly bad, and what with the strange and total isolation …

I have to take a seat, I have to catch my breath. I try, but I can't. I can't catch my breath and my heart is racing like a car engine being revved up out of control … oh, crap, I think I'm having panic attack …

Oh, wait. A door just banged open off to my right, a custodian thrusting his cart out into the corridor. Back the way I've come I see two Security officers coming this way, and … wait … yes, in the distance beyond them is a passenger, another passenger, walking this way towing a wheeled carry-on like a small dog being forced to go for a walk.


I sigh. All is right with the world once more.

I think I'll take a nap.

Talk to you later!

P.S. - Seriously, it was the easiest time I've ever had, probably will ever have getting through the airport, the security... but I was so freaked out by the sheer emptiness of the place I called my mom just to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

P.P.S. - Roll Poll Results!
Did you vote? I did. 
And the winner is...*drumroll* ...

Over, with a solid 100% of the vote!

So apparently the friends I was arguing this point with can go $#!% in their hat! They should have voted!
Thank you to everyone who voted in the Roll Poll! I'm sure I'll have other stupid questions for you to help me with in the future. 

P.P.P.S : And for those of you who've actually read this far, here's a little bonus, just for you! It's a silent movie parody of the "battle" between The Hulk and Loki from the movie "The Avengers". I think it's pretty clever, and, honestly, I can't see that scene from the movie without laughing -- so here you go!

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