30 minutes at O'Hare on April 25

Tired, weary TSA agents

soldiers on their way - home(?)

teenaged tears wiped away by a friend

preoccupied businessmen with all the latest gadgets

ridiculous stiletto heals on long, lithe legs

darting eyes

comfort noshing in every possible form

small frames carrying bags weighed down by indecision

surprise text messages from that special girl

backpacks that have been to the top of mountains in lands far away

seasoned pilots walking with bad backs and brittle confidence

asian women wearing masks (protecting themselves from us or vice versa?)

money falling out of ladies purses as they purchase cheap kiosk jewelry

exhausted janitors wishing they could just get on a plane and leave this place

watches left behind at security being rushed to their owners

batteries on cell phones and computers waning

little boys trying to carry their own bags while their parents rush them along

couples anticipating the vacation that will make them feel closer and in love again

faces with deep lines that bear the experiences of their owners

men averting their eyes when I look directly at them - connection lost

scuffed floors that bear the weight of a million feet

the smell of burnt Starbucks coffee and stale air

unexpected, unlikely reunions of long lost friends

the feeling that we all have people who love us, who need us, who miss us and that we are all in this together