found drama

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dream.20050911: concourse

by Rob Friesel

Airport concourses are infinity. The hallways that extend forever. Friendly and generic but unfamiliar and uncomfortable terrain. There are no colors so that they don’t offend. Any color is tastefully discrete – – a hidden accent. The accents here are orange on a greyish beige. They favor wide ramps with slim inclines instead of stairs. Probably to avoid having to designate certain paths as handicapped accessible. The carpet has been designed with a three-column zig-zag pattern that implies lanes for pedestrians and wheeled traffic (i.e., wheelchairs, strollers, and those damned luggage carts for those too good to walk like the rest of the proles) – – the zig-zags imply directionality. In on the left, out on the right. The lighting as all overhead and indirect. You’d expect there to be a lot more windows but this concourse is half-underground and they’ve been eliminated all together just to keep the building plans as simple as possible. You only see them in the terminals and even then they’re up high to keep the kid faceprints off the glass. No one smiles.

You’re running through all this. Sweaty and unarmed. The suitcase with all your clothes is long misplaced. Checked? This isn’t even on your mind. The more important bag is slung over your shoulder. One hand grips it vice-like. Precious cargo within. You’re running against the zig-zag grain. Your other hand keeps reaching up to steady your hat. The people around you aren’t faceless but are straight out of Picasso paintings. Not mangled but eyes on the wrong side in the wrong order, mouths offset, and one nostril far too big and the other far too small. If you run faster, they’ll blur and you won’t have to see them. Faster. Your footfalls make a muffled thud on the carpet like dry flour sacks dropped. Intermittent tile sings like snapped toothpicks. Only the faces are Picasso – – the limbs are barely exaggerated and that part only filled in by your mind. Faster.

This is the director’s cut of some would-be cerebral action movie. The alternate ending special feature. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade meets Primer. There’s no skip ahead. The concourse goes on forever.

Fortune is smashing through the security check. Fortune is escaping. Misfortune is finding your stunt double uniformed in Nazi brown and riding crop revealed as elevator doors slide open and a slow dissolve to the next scene where you’re bound with hemp rope and gagged with a rag, choking on someone else’s sweat.

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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