No fiery pits, no gnashing of teeth. The architects of control opted for fluorescent purgatory. Steely intestines crammed with shuffling, harried proles, all glazed eyes and TSA grope anxiety.  Muzak drones, aural wallpaper to mask the frustrated bellows of the eternally delayed.  Miles of stained carpeting that reek of despair and spilled Cinnabon. US airports.

The security checkpoint. A cattle chute of plastic and TSA, robocops with latex gloves pawing at your entrails, prying into the most intimate recesses of your carry-on. X-ray machines, hungry metal maw monsters, devour your belongings, spitting them out with a sterile hum.

Families sprawl out, their domestic dramas laid bare like cheap luggage on the floor. Businessmen clutch laptops, faces illuminated by the cold blue glow, their eyes glazed over with spreadsheet hell.

The loudspeaker crackles – another delay. Groans ripple through the crowd, a chorus of the damned. Time, that precious commodity, melts like a Dali clock in the fluorescent purgatory. This is the cold sweat of eternity, lit by the flickering duty-free disco ball. Here, time bleeds into a shapeless mass,punctuated only by the mournful wail of a delayed Frontier flight. Welcome to the true neutral zone, a bureaucratic demilitarized zone patrolled by jackbooted rent-a-cops and churro-scarred attendants. This is the layover of the damned, a non-place where humanity dissolves into a tide of impatience and stale pretzels. No, no Hell. We were granted something far worse: the endless purgatory of the US airport.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *