Waiting at the end of that long yellowed hall that connects the gates to baggage claim, a woman stands apart from the drivers who hold their name cards. Dressed in a black slip of a dress, a gauzy black shawl is draped over her shoulders. Chewing her gum, hard, distorts her delicate features into a manly grimace. Her layered hair swept in feathers from her heavily made-up and overly tanned face, she holds a single red rose.
I can see her from baggage claim, and keep watch to see who she's waiting for. What if she greets an elderly woman, or her boss? Is this her "airport outfit," complete with props, based on a bad 1970s mini-series? She appears to give up, and I lose her in the crowd, wandering toward the door. What? Did he/she somehow sneak by her? Or is she the token crazy airport lady, waiting for a long-lost love who will never show?
Horns honk, drivers curse, near-misses at 20 mph allow exhausted travelers to avoid being slowly run down by taxis. A bomb-sniffing German Shepherd (so identified by his vest) runs happily through it all, ahead of his humans who wander a few steps behind, bored and trying to look intimidating while calling out, "Boomer! Don't play in the street." Boomer may have it all figured out, all these angry humans swarming in and out of the white zone who don't know they should be playing.
"If you are not happy here and now, you never will be."
(Photo: Ugly LAX traffic courtesy laist)