12:00 pm – CST – Sunday

The air is thick with sunscreen and burnt flesh.  The surface area of your bare skin against an airline chair that hasn’t been cleaned since 4am that morning…. Their skin crawling with suntan lotion open and bare in tight, high dresses and short shorts. Flip flops flicking back and forth. 

Ouch, her foot got caught in the arm of a metal chair. Her sandal flicked off. She flicked it back on with her hand and wiped her brow. I turned away. What a normal sight, but it made me nauseous.

I couldn’t begin to count the points of contact. 

The airport line was shorter than I expected; but tourists, me included, were all headed home—to the United States. Grateful for the masks and gloves I saw around me. Trying to curl myself into my seat that hadn’t been washed in who knows how long. My arms, leg, chest, and face completely covered. They kept making me take my hood down—but I didn’t even want my knotted hair touching the back of the seat. 

People were too busy staring at their phones to pay attention to me staring at all of them. Most people inches away from one another. Reading books, reading stories, reading phones, reading paper plane tickets and waiting for their names. 

How do we normally think about waiting in the airport? 

My brain didn’t know anymore. I’m just glad I got the chance—not just to have a single moment of rest, but to come back to the end of an era. To this beautiful moment in history, when everything changed around them, and no one looked up to watch. 

Photo by Connor Danylenko

Lauryn Ash

Game Designer & Writer

About the Author

A full-time game developer and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I analyze the world through video games and coffee. Sharing my experience in game design, coffee, and writing. All opinions are my own.

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