Hurry Up and WaitIf you’ve ever spent a day in an airport, you know the values of self-entertainment, copious patience, the ability to fall asleep sitting up or to sleep with one eye open or to ward off sleep altogether. You know the fun of people-watching, walking vs. standing on the moving walk, and counting tiles and carpet squares.

You discover your innate navigational skills and your ability to read the tiny, changing print on the teleprompter walls. You appreciate your flexibility to scan those TVs while removing or putting on your jacket, gripping your baggage, and clenching your flight number and seat assignment in your teeth.

You know what it is to feel you’re getting nowhere. You know what it is to watch the news going on in the world as you sit still. You know what it is to pay more for a cold sandwich than you did for your first car.

You know how to monitor your batteries on all devices, scout out the most convenient outlets, and you know when to give up and buy a paper book. You know how many steps it is to the nearest bathroom, and the one beyond that, too. You also know where everyone within a 50-foot radius of yourself is going, why, and the names of the people waiting for them on the other side of flight.

The airport brings strangers together for short spells to learn, adapt, and quietly endure one another’s quirks. It’s an oasis of happenstance. It’s a place where time speeds up and slows down, always against your will.

And then, to the lucky, your number comes up and you’re invited to break the cycle, break the bubble, break the surface, break the spell, break out. You walk the gangplank and you take flight. And when you arrive at your final destination, reconciled with time, you realize the world was going on all along and you missed it.

Or did you?

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at