On the Move

July 6, 2017

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Being on the move requires a destination. This explains my childhood fascination with airports. A place for people in transit to somewhere else, neither here nor there, but in between. People in motion with a sense of purpose, a destination.


This contrasted with the sense of inertia I felt at home. The only time the clock ruled my day was when it abruptly interrupted my dreams in the morning, an unforgiving drill sergeant commanding me to catch the school bus. Half my day was spent in school; half was spent at home. Time was a blank page where a new story was written every day, albeit one with the same setting. The characters of the story were my friends, the plot our imagination. There was always much to do, but nowhere to go. Maybe this was the reason only my parents ever went to the airport: I lacked a destination. Surely, something was amiss.


I lived in a static world surrounded by unrelenting motion. It dawned on me that airports were not the only place where people were always in transit. Those around me where in constant motion, like planets revolving around an invisible star. My parents rising early in the morning to prepare breakfast and send me off to school. They rushed to beat the rush hour traffic. Metallic shooting stars passing by the school bus, always seemingly late to be somewhere else. Jaywalkers siding with the laws of geometry and against traffic regulations, taking the shortest distance between two points. All of them subjected to a gravitational pull that I could sense, but neither feel, see, nor understand.


This was not the full extent of my blindness. If being in motion was the purpose of life, why wasn´t the ride itself pleasurable? Only my friends and I ever smiled, especially when we were late. But the faces I saw through the window of my school bus were like chalkboards in the morning, blank. Frowning was sometimes allowed, but smiles rarely seen. They were all so keen to travel, but seemed to despise the destination. What is the point of traveling if your point of arrival is worse than your point of departure? Looking at life through the window of my school bus, I failed to see that I myself was going to the airport. We were all in motion.   


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©2017 by Andre Lamartin