The Netherworld of Connecting Flights (Airport Observations, Chicago, U.S.A.)

I write from the netherworld of the in between. A state where I don’t really exist in the present – maybe only as an abstraction. I have yet to reach the great beyond, though I have commenced the journey. For some I just left, eulogies snuffed, so long, good riddance, for others they don’t even know when or if I will arrive, who cares, out of sight, whatever. And despite all that I must be in one of the most secure locations in the world, where my papers have been checked, stamped, tagged, and processed.

For them, the scary, evasive and all seeing they, my exact location couldn’t be more pinpointed on a checker-colored grid. They have searched my body and my possessions, the body I possess, for instruments of potential destruction like metal tweezers. They concluded that my boots were too dirty for their machines and had to send it through again. I’m not sure what they were looking to find there, but I denied every accusation. I checked every box with an enthusiastic ‘x’ under ‘no’. I swear I haven’t been to a farm, but I did cross a goat with a really nice beard. I never talk to strangers, let alone leave my baggage unattended with them. Even that old fat lady with the thick rimmed glasses sitting in a wheelchair abandoned at an empty gate with her back to the window, even her, I denied and cast aside her so-called friendly attempt to persuade my affection with her offer of a taffy. I would never take candy from strangers, that much I know, that much I’ve learned the hard way.

Why do they bother me with these questions here? Am I giving them impure ideas with this uneven beard? Don’t they know that I’ve grown up and made it this far, at least so far considering everything I’ve been through? Is this a Chicago O’Hare thing? I can never recall my time spent in the netherworld of connecting flights so I can’t compare.

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