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Monday, October 24, 2011

Airport: ten minutes

A girl is sitting at an airport cafe. She is waiting for someone. She is thinking about what she is going to say, what she should say, what she wants so say.

She should say, why isn't that girl you're hanging around with here to see you off?

She wants to say, i want you.

She is going to say, err hi.

She is watching him put his bags on the belt, make conversation with the other travellers, tuck the ticket into his pocket.

What am i going to say, she thinks.

He is coming over. He is popular, he is chatty, he is funny, he is going away.

This could be any airport, any cafe, any girl, any boy. But it isn't.

He is sitting down. Hey thanks for coming see me off, he says.

Err hi, she says.

They talk. She makes small talk, the kind of talk you have when you are on the cusp of something huge but you can't say so because you don't know or are not sure. How heavy are your bags, what do you think you'll do when you arrive, what is the exchange rate.

She wants so say something cool maybe. But it can't be cool. This could be the last time she sees him.

There's time before the flight leaves. She could say what she wants to before it leaves. It only takes a second. But it could be awkward silence after that. It would take hours. But if she doesn't say anything, it could be never before she'll get to try again.

She starts to talk. He answers a phone call. Other people are telling him to take care.

I should tell him to take care, she thinks. But who tells someone that until the moment before they leave?

He puts down the phone. Hey, he says. It's good to see you.

It's. . . good to see you too.

We still got a bit of time.

He doesn't want to go in too early cos there's nothing but waiting inside. But not too late that he'll miss it.

I wonder if i should hope he misses it, she thinks.

They talk some more. She doesn't tell him to take care. If there is too much time before shaking hands and departing, it loses urgency.

They start calling for boarding. I still have some time, he says. No need to get up.

She wants to tell him now. But she says, how are things.

If she waits too long, and tells him just before leaving, he will say let's talk when i get back. But a world lies between departure and coming back.

Come on, she says to herself. This is it.

The huge crowd of other travellers and well wishers with him descends upon him. She is lost in the tumult of jokey talk, catching up and quick references to his other life that doesn't include her. She wonders if she should leave, does she look like a lost puppy, sitting here doe-eyed. She might get up and go to the toilet and never come back. Then he introduces her to everyone, and she can't leave. It is nice to be introduced. I want to be introduced more. But does it mean i am important?

She keeps looking at the people introduced to her. It isn't easy to remember their names.

Can they see through me, she thinks. Can they tell what i am thinking? Do any of them feel the same way?

It is time. They are walking to the gate. It seems too much too soon.

He stops and lets the others go on ahead. He turns back, turns to her.

I think i need to run to the washroom, he says. Can you hold this for me?

Wait, she says, holding his bag. He looks at her.

I have something to tell you.

He wants to go but her tone stops him.

I see, he says. They just stand there. This is a strange time to tell me.

I couldn't wait any longer, she says.

Don't i need some time to absorb this?

Probably. She says.

He steps closer.

This is a big deal, he says.

I know, she says.

Someone is calling out to him. Later, he says, waving them off.

You know i have to go right?

She nods. She doesn't speak because she can't.

If i kissed you, would it be enough til i got back?

A pause.

I'll be really quick.

She shakes her head. Then she nods. Then she shakes her head again.

Kiss me and then we'll see.

In unfinished script form it starts thus:

1. Int airport cafe.

Wide of cafe. Unclear who is talking but it is two girls at a table.

Also, OS/ single of X.


... I don't think i should tell him. I couldnt do it. I dont dare to. What if he says --


If you dont say something now, you might not get the chance. A lot can happen inbetween now and then.


I want to. I should.

No, i just cant.


He is leaving. You cant wait any -- shit here he comes.


Hey you guys! Hey thanks for coming. I didnt expect you to come see me off.


Eh, hi. (to T) dont go anywhere.


Hey you know what, i see someone i know over there bye.


Hey the guys are all over

I have a garden that's burning and a sky that's so white i have to squint. The heat is hot, just sweltering. I can feel the sweat soaking the cloth on my back, sticking clammy to my skin. I got dry grass like a crackle, parched soil like a concrete desert. In my mind, all i see is a glass of cold cold water.