…CROWDED AIRPORTS. The promises; the lies. Standing in the queue with the other travellers, I patted my leather jacket reassuringly, feeling the outline of my passport, the same breast pocket where my tickets were.
I shared some customary nods and smiles with the people who would be on board my plane; destination who cares? If the plane was heading to the Sahara desert I would have been happy, anywhere but the stifling metropolis I resided in. I had anxious thoughts of the plane flying for twelve hours and landing back here.
It took hours to reach head snake status, the first of the line to go through security. Three stern employees awaited; one asian, one black, one white. Good to see the airports non-discriminatory policy in full effect.
I placed my only bag, my rugged canvas backpack on the conveyor belt watching as it was sucked away from me for a CT scan. I nearly lay down with it myself just for the free scan, to make sure there were no cancerous tumours in me. I had been coughing a lot lately..
Crushing that vision, the small white guy yelled at me to empty my pockets into a basket. Dutifully I placed my mobile in it along with some loose change, my wallet, two necklaces, four rings and my anxiety.
I walked through the scanner, pleased when I was waved on, having been on edge expecting the intrusive BEEP!
Nearly reuinted with my bag, I looked over and saw two guards opening the straps. I walked over.
“Is there a problem?” They blanked me.
One of them tipped the bag upside down as all my holiday essentials poured out; sun block, shorts, t-shirts, a hoodie, four pistols, a bowie knife, a bag of pills and two books. I couldn’t see what the problem was.
Then they said it. In unison. The dreaded word. “Sir….would you mind stepping aside?” As if they had just apprehended a criminal who’d been on the Most Wanted list for decades, they looked at me menacingly, and ‘suggested’ through force that I stand against the nearby wall.
With their riddiculous rubber gloved hands, they each picked up a book, holding them up to me, one upside down, as if to say, you’re not going anywhere. Grabbing their walky talky the black guy announced that they had a “code 103”. A faint chattering in his earpiece responded. Then: “Yeah, you heard correct. We’ve got a reader…” He turned to gauge my reaction with his colleague, and next thing I knew my face was pressed into the carpet, as cuffs clicked around my wrists.