Airports have always been a place that I feel comfortable. It’s just full of people and energy and movement. It’s always busy. People are coming and going; some running, some half asleep and barely walking. It’s like it’s so chaotic that it’s intimate. If it wasn’t so busy, more people would notice the other people. But they rarely do in airports. Everyone has somewhere to be by a certain time and the chaos provides an amazing mask over the intimacy that occurs at every airport. If you ever want to witness a real hug, go to an airport. I doubt there are very many other places whom’s walls have witnessed much more pure showings of love and reunions; goodbyes and don’t go’s; endings and beginnings.
When I used to get really homesick back when I first moved to Florida, I would drive from the beach all the way to the airport. I’d pick a spot depending on my mood. Downstairs in the baggage claim or upstairs at the security check point, and set up to people watch. I guess it was kind of weird, but oh well. I liked the pure signs of emotion people display there. Mostly, I liked the reunions. The embraces that followed the lighting up of each party’s face when they saw each other for the first time. I loved hearing the “I missed you”‘s and watching the guy swing the girl around in his arms.
One day I was sitting in one of the rocking chairs by the security gate, when an old lady sat next to me. She asked me who I was waiting for and I told her no one, just liked watching people come back together. She told me she was waiting on her husband who had been gone for a week to go on a trip she couldn’t go on. The woman told me that they had been married 43 years and that this was their first separation for an entire week. In slight disbelief I inquired if she meant since they were younger. She quickly replied that she meant since the night they were married. She added in that they had not gotten married to spend nights alone and that they had agreed not to do that throughout their life together. She told me that she had never missed someone so much. She added in that my generation has gotten very accustomed to missing people who we supposedly love and it was a foolish trait; that you should only miss people when there is nothing you can do about being without them, like in death. She told me we had it all wrong, that we miss the people we’ve left, instead of just staying with them. When her husband came through the gate he exclaimed “Mi sei mancata!” very loudly and again and again and again. It’s Italian for I missed you, which I knew from my family. They had one of the most genuine hugs I am sure that I will ever see and probably that those airport walls had ever seen. They walked away together with her arm around his waist and his over her shoulders, totally defying their old age by replacing it with their youthful love.
Lately this whole exchange has been flashing in my mind. I’d like to say I’m not sure why, but I know. For some reason in the last few months, I’ve gotten contacted by a lot of my x-boyfriends. Some of them texts, a few emails, a couple drunk dial calls, and a few sober ones too. I’m not sure what alert went out to all of them that made them decide to all try the “see how you’re doing” convo or whatever, but the attempts have been fairly close together, so maybe it’s the way the planets are aligned or something. All of the relationships ended in different ways, and I used to just think that I needed to take more responsibility for their endings, because I have repeatedly looked back and been like.. wow.. I did nothing wrong. But breakups and ghostings kept happening and I started to think that maybe it was something I was doing wrong. Some of the guys that have contacted me lately were quick little short stories, some longer chapters, and two of them I thought I loved. All contact came out of no where, at different times, in different forms. They all had one thing in common though. At some point in the conversation, they told me they missed me. Some of them made me want to laugh, a few made me want to cry, and for a couple there was no reaction. After the third conversation with an x and the same line being repeated, I decided to try and figure out how I felt. After the basic “yeah of course you miss me, I’m the shit, I told you you’d miss me” attitude wore off, I was left with a more realistic 28 year old reaction.. When do I get the one guy who doesn’t leave? I am currently not dead, and although I may have wished it upon a few of the guys who reached out, here they are, still alive! So.. why now do they miss me? Is it because they’re lonely? Did I post a super fierce selfie or something? Just.. why now? For some, years later and for others, months later. I became angry almost when I was woken up at 230am by another x the next week and then when a text from an x came through a few days later. Why are they missing me I kept thinking in my head and I was getting angry. I wanted to ask all of them, so I did. The responses didn’t satisfy or put out the pissed-offness that was gently yanking on my insides. They all told me similar things, none of it helped. Then I realized it’s because I wasn’t asking the right question. I didn’t want to know why they missed me all of a sudden, honestly I could careless, I had moved on. What I guess I wanted to know was why did they ever leave in the first place. A question which I refused to ask any of them because I don’t think I’m ready for those answers yet. I’ve fielded one or two since the big epiphany, luckily one was a text and one was an email. Both I just responded with mi hai lasciato.