Airport Ennui – February 2014

Time in the airport spirals. It spirals in a haze of pleasant white light (in the business lounge) or harsh fluorescence (in the walkways) and becomes endless. I read half of a book (Nail It Then Scale It). I jot down ideas for iterating on a project. I get more tea. Then water. Then tea. Back and forth to the counter, aimless, sliding seamlessly on Lufthansa’s predefined paths.

I’m bored. I thought a seven-hour layover was a good idea.

I do like long layovers in a strange, undefined way. They are the fuzzy part of a trip. The pit of potential productivity. I could create something great here, in the airport lounge. I could write something, plan a new feature, get a new idea, implement new code, or just do nothing. Tea. More tea. Back and forth.

Mostly people don’t talk to each other in the business lounge. I find I’m more productive, because I’m not constantly seeking the next conversation. I meet people on planes all the time, because we are stuck there and the proximity favors talking, at least before we fall asleep or tune each other out with headphones.

I imagine being stuck for days or weeks, walking endlessly from terminal A to Z in simulated comfort, buying boxes of Niederegger marzipan because it is the best thing in the airport. Washing it down with Courvoisier. Yuck. Or water, sold with a smile. Guten tag, Hola, Hello, Hallo, it all sounds the same. The food is better in Europe.

The guy behind me left. That’s good, because I was uncomfortable writing with him there, felt that he was peering over my shoulder even though of course he was not. Airport privacy is transparent, artificial. We are each perfectly alone and completely seen. I am sure there are cameras in the ceiling.

I wonder who is doing actual productive work here and who is aimlessly browsing the Internet or reading a book for pleasure or just staring into space. Staring into space is actually a good disguise for productive work, happening behind the scenes.

I consider creating a blog to post this, then sending a note to my friends, “Hey! I started a blog,” to which their response will be, YAWN.

I am not on Facebook. I alternate between relief to have avoided drama, and wishing for a presence so I wouldn’t need to start a blog to post these thoughts. I want to unify my social media presence, so my life is seamless and I can share what I want when I want but ONLY with who I want. I’m hoping Google+ is the answer to that prayer, eventually. Right now my life is in fragments. I have my LinkedIn persona and my new G+ page, a blog on organic food, a site on general wellness from an environmental/alternative health perspective, and a site for organizing MOOCs and online learning resources. I have a dormant site for people who want to move cities (this site I actually think is the best one — I launched it in 2002 in L.A. but let my family talk me out of it. I still keep thinking about it.)

I really want to unify my life, not my social media presence.

The airport is buzzing quietly with the noise of suitcase wheels and heels. People coming and going, in between.

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