Monday, October 20, 2014

International Arrival

You would need a heart of stone not to be affected by the international arrivals hall at Dulles Airport. Everywhere you look are reunions of one sort or another: husbands and wives, children and parents, brothers and sisters, friends. There was a man next to us who said he was waiting for his sweetheart to return from Denmark. His cap was pulled down low so it was difficult to see his eyes — maybe because he was expecting them to fill.

Claire and Celia were holding Claire’s two homemade signs. One of them said “Welcome Home” in “pennant” letters. The other was a map of Benin in green magic marker.

After what seemed like an eternity, we saw Suzanne. She was wearing a short-sleeved “Virginia is for Runners” t-shirt and her arms and face were tan. She was wheeling three large suitcases and a carry-on. (I later learned that only one of those large bags was hers; the others were for Peace Corps friends.) 

The first impression — that ever amazing, important first impression — was that she's a world traveler now. There was a nonchalance in the way she wheeled the bags, a certain jauntiness about her. 

My second impression — or perhaps I should say thought once I was capable of having thoughts — was that I don't ever want her to leave again.



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