Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gate 79

I made it through Customs without incident - although the agent took an uncomfortably long time reviewing the computer screen after scanning my passport. It seems we do US Customs and Immigration on the Canada side of the border because Canadians are so cool. Security was a breeze - and yet they did the explosives check on my camera bag and looked at the polarizing filter with suspicion. It also seems that the Canadian TSA equivalent did not have to drop out of High School to get the job and actually smiled a lot and enjoyed carrying on meaningful conversations.I raced down the moving walkways to my gate pausing for a moment to P (Spelling unknown). It was early and I was alone in there - a long line of urinals from which to choose. I think the rule of thirds applies in such circumstances and I picked the left third. There was the echoing sound of my breath, an occasional water drop, the myriad sounds of the airport entering through the entryway, the odd green fluorescent light shining from banks in the ceiling - and the repetitive sound of a baby crying. Strange I thought as I stood there peeing (Spelling unknown). Again and again was the nearly electronic sounding baby's crying - as if from a doll with a pull string - always the same tone, the same duration. I was quite sure I was alone in there. I paused for a moment(if you know what I mean) to listen more intently, looking over my should and scanning the empty room. I saw myself standing in the row of urinals in the large mirror on the opposite wall above the row of sinks. The place was clean and quiet - hmmm I thought. And then, just as I turn back, I heard the baby again - this time the sound corresponding with the automatic towel dispenser - apparently in some malfunction, dispensing towels quite on its own - the internal motor sounding just like a baby crying in the bathroom's echoed droll - leaving another section of a length of towel on the floor some twenty feet long - sorry, seven meters. And now, as I sit at Gate 79, looking over at gate 81, the sun just peaking over the horizon - pink and orange clouds high, black clouds below - a Chinese man stands before me - alone in the wide expanse of the empty airport - doing thai-chi. Oh Canada - eh!

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