He was running. If he kept running he might just make it. A long way to go, and a short time to get there, but he just might.
He bobbed and weaved, dodging Mothers and Fathers with children. Grandparents and cousins and second cousins and all manner of family.
He ran past doctors and lawyers, he ran past bus drivers and school teachers and gardeners and carpenters and cooks, past security guards and delinquents, past boyfriends and girlfriends, past doctors, past nurses, past soldiers just trying to get home.
As he runs, he steals a glimpse at his watch. Five minutes.
He ran past old people and young people and people in between – the great expanse of humanity, all crammed together in this airport, trying to get somewhere else.
His last flight had been late. He kept running.
Jumping over somebody’s suitcase like O.J. Simpson in that commercial from a thousand years ago, he hit the ground again and kept running.
He ran past a Burger King. He ran past a hot-dog place, he ran past a Chick-Fil-A, it’s patrons lined up out the door for some fried chicken and fries. He ran past bar after bar after bar, all filled to capacity with travelers, trying to drink away the stress of travelling.
He rounded a corner and almost collided with a janitor, his big floor-polishing machine swinging back and forth. He kept running – past vending machines and water fountains and the endless, endless posters lining the walls, promising Fun In The Sun, wherever you were going.
He kept running down the long row of gates. 31… 30… 29… Running, breathing hard, starting to sweat. 22… 21… 20… Will he ever find his gate? He dodged Nuns, skirted past jehovah Witnesses and very nearly collided with a teacher, leading a group of children on the adventure of their lives. 15… 14… 13… Almost there.
Finally, finally he reaches Gate 9 with a mere minute to spare, skidding to a stop at the counter, panting, trying to catch his breath. As soon as he can form words, he asks “Has flight 1509 left yet?”
“I’m sorry sir, that flight is delayed. It won’t be leaving for another thirty minutes.”