Whenever I travel, time suspends at the airport. I’m not flying the plane. I can’t control the weather. I’m at the mercy of the airlines and TSA and whatever rules they impose.
So I wait. In limbo. Crowded into a row of airport seats, keeping my arms and legs close, pinned behind my roll-on suitcase. Listening to announcements. Unsurprised by delays. Constrained.
Onboard, I shoehorn myself into an airplane seat. And wait. Wait to be given a snack. Wait to be allowed to get up. Usually, I accept the waiting, don’t expect anything different.
Often, I relish the flight time. No one needs anything from me. I can watch a silly movie that I wouldn’t have bothered with in the movie theater. I read, write, or doze. Eat all of the snacks.
Like air travel, sheltering in place is restrictive—close quarters, limited amusements, and out of my hands. I wouldn’t have signed up for it, but now that I’m on this journey, borrowing from my air travel mindset helps me accept this limbo. For the most part.
In flight and during quarantine, time suspends. After an indeterminate while, we will arrive, and time will re-engage. Life will start up in a new place.