Waiting Room People: the Key Man

He has keys that jingle
merrily as he strides along…
confidence in every step
belies fear of stepping wrong.

He has keys that show the world
important responsibilities:
He keeps track of his keys==
a dozen or so–to the best of his abilities.

As keeper of the keys
he is also master of the locks
hmmm….I wonder if he
is also the man in charge of the clocks.

©Sometimes, 2016

the lady’s back in the waiting room…

Airports undergoing renovations
once carpeted floors now bare
waiting in half slumber for some
distraction, a newspaper or paperback
to occupy the sleepiest moments
on the verge of falling under the spell
of the reassurances of time machines
humming softly in background corners.

The question arises of Where am I now?
and Where else is there left to go?
A beat of a drum in cadence, one two
three four, when will the tattoo stop,
or change to another beat…perhaps
in time to the throb of a heart shared
with another,  promising not to break it
or cause the pattern to stop.

© Sometimes, 2016


Staring into the distance, filmy
gauze in shades of purplish red
or sheer material affording the
glance of a loved one, with veiled eyes
shaped like small mackerel, silvery
scales glittering like sequins sewn
precisely in random patterns….
Or writing vague verse in a parchment
notebook, searching for rhymes
to join other words to combine dream
sequences stretching into the distance
past velvet rivers and secluded corners
in great ovals.    Or sturdy black sofas with
awful cushions against grungy corduroy
fabric of a yellowish chartreuse.

The woman in black is crying now,
softly, not at all definite or dedicated
shuddering breaths….only silent tears
soaking into her rosy-red scarf.
When someone is crying, why do strangers care?
Studiously ignoring or just not-seeing
the crying person.  We don’t ask why,
or even speculate about the cause of grief
or heart-break because it would be rude
to indicate having seen the anguish
of a fellow human.    Or is it that we
don’t really care, because to care would imply
concern and thus involvement… a kindly
comment, or offer of help?   Chances are good
that the reply will be “no, thanks.”  Or perhaps
it will be “mind your own business,” which
will then harm our feelings.   Worst of all
may be an acknowledgement of concern…
creating a concrete bond and therefore obligation
to become involved on some level: a pat on
the hand, or shoulder…a hug.
When it comes down to it, a truly kind person
will know what to do instinctively…and won’t
have to worry about being saved by the bell
or the arrival of your appointment.

© Sometimes, 2016

Fun times in airport waiting rooms

Being as how my fairly limited air travel experiences date way  back in my memory banks, I enjoy dragging them out and expounding on their relative significance.   This trip into memory lane is completely irrelevant, but that never stopped me from detailing even the least important adventures…which in the great scheme of things may never be read.

One of the activities of airport waiting rooms…those sometimes surreal places where any incident, no matter how small, served to perk up interest among viewers sitting there waiting hopefully for news of impending flights.   This activity is casual observance of tidbits of life in the waiting room.

Once my son was arriving in Cleveland on an in-coming flight from (Boston? Seattle? Phoenix? Minneapolis?… it doesn’t matter much, probably it was a stop-over here in the heartland between big cities.)

The spectators…casually observing the sudden surge of activity which was the opening of the Gate Door from the airplane and the emergence of People from the ramp.    Heads turned in unison, watching the grand drama of happy reunions and business associations unfold…reminiscent of a crowd watching a tennis match.

As Joe approached, sporting his new (to me) and neatly appointed beard…and I, as an observant Mom, remarked with a gentle touch to the chin: “What is this?” to which he said –echoing the collective thoughts of the watchers–   “oh-oh, his Mom doesn’t like his beard.”     I am probably the only person in the world who found that exchange note-worthy, but it is duly filed in my file designated as: “Irrelevant But Fascinating.”

One of the highlights of waiting in the airport waiting area, once the 9-11 attacks had occurred and the airports were on alert and running on nervous energy–was watching as hapless passengers were pulled out of line and searched.  The most interesting examples to me were: a five-year-old with a pink Barbie back-pack; a highly irate woman who believed she should have been exempt because of her age; and a blonde American who was infuriated at the gall of some Mexican airport security officers who searched her purse and bags with exaggerated slowness.   It was rather obvious to me that the security guys were highly amused at the hassle-value of the search, and–at least to me–was clearly a response to reverse situations which were even more common.

The entertainment value of these types of events lies largely in the reactions of travelers.   Personally I always considered inconvenience and annoyance to be one of the anti-perks of air travel…and believe that the Hassle Value lay in the degree to which a traveler was A–indignant, B–considered to be deprived of their Rights; and C–vocally loud.   Shouting is almost always counter-productive.

I admit that I tend to be amused by almost anything…especially in waiting rooms…and things that I found fascinating barely aroused the interest of other travelers who made a point of being bored.  Entertainment is in the eye of the beholder.   There is a choice–be bored or be entertained.

I do miss those decades of frequent travel.


more from the waiting room…

Sitting in a waiting room invites simple attractions.
Atmosphere unique…pink, grey, maroon
rap music playing softly (is that an oxymoron?)

Waiting Room People sit and watch the Workers
with their vacuums, brooms, parading in and out.
Women with big hair wearing huge sun glasses

Vending machines clink and clunk and give refreshments
phones ring, lights blink, an intercom sqwacks and hisses,
An automatic door vies with an electric eye for control of a door mat.

I always talk to strangers.   We form no bond, sitting there
chatting about the fish tank.  It doesn’t matter what language is used,
there is only so much one can say about fish.

There is no social hierarchy in a fish tank.  Color is immaterial.
No one is impressed with Irridescence.  Bottom feeders are free to graze.
Pink fish are just as good as Big fish, although possibly…more vulnerable.

The biggest Angel Fish is not in charge here…but he thinks he is,
which is about the same thing.   He swims around in his cool
hipster fish style, while little fish ignore him.

Oh-oh, a challenger!  A tense moment as they
posture…staring eye to eye with a bump to the shoulder,
since they can’t arm wrestle.

“Please lift you feet,” asks the Hipoctamus, as he vacuums by,
and the Angel Fish sail along grandly, on self-appointed patrol.