Sketches from the Worldport number 1001
in the darkness of the bus that moves people from a parking lot past the security fences that are inside the airport, it does this on the hour, and on the minute, day after day, people are crammed inside this bus, the flight attendants chatting away amongst themselves, and the pilots silent to themselves maybe checking their phones and looking tired, the mechanics elbowing themselves in the ribs and joking to themselves, and the gate agents complaining about the customers they had to deal with that day and what places they liked to work, as a effeminate man gestures and talks to another lady, “I cant stand working over here, they are just so crazy over here. I rather work over there on my soul. It's just something about over here I don't like. I don't know what it is.” with his thinning body and thinning hair as the bigger woman asks where he likes to work the best, “I don't know. I can't really say. I like some things about over here, but I'd rather be on C. It's just better over there.” as the conversation drones out with the hum of other voices, as some of the workers in their orange vests are talking, and maybe there is a man who sells smoothies in his Giant Cooler and makes money on the side, an older man, with a bearded stern face, who has a look of a Professor, someone you would mistake for a school teacher if it was another place, on his boxy frame, as he talks to an older fellow like himself about the nature and the process of how he goes about making his smoothies and his icies by which he sells up at the worldport in the cooler which he brings up there everyday making those extra dollars but for what reason does he want to make those extra dollars because he lives alone this man does and eats his food alone as he watches old movies from a different time and place like the Ten Commandments “Those were the classics. They don't make movies like those anymore,” who makes these icies to sell during the summer time, “First I go to the store, and I pick out my fruits, I make sure they are fresh, then I get them all blended up and let them sit in the freezer for a bit, “ as the other man just nods his head as he listens to the process during the night, interested but also tired as the man goes on about his process, because this professor like older man with the beard and the stern face does tend to lecture other people some times as he goes about his day like telling other workers to get out of his way as he is trying to get his bags so he can take them to where the belt brings them to where the people can get their bag, “But they have to be fresh, and then I taste them, but if they don't taste right I just throw them out.” and as the professor like man with his stern eyes drums about his lonely process in the night of the bus, people are getting annoyed at the bus driver who is eccentric and yelling at another employee who is standing up in the packed bus, the bus driver is an older lady, a lady with a big face and a mole on her cheek and maybe wearing a wig “Sir, you have to sit in a seat. Those are the rules.” as she told another one of those workers with their orange vest to sit down because he couldn't stand up because those were the rules and that he had to sit down, and the tall muscled worker from the country side maybe with a curved hat and maybe they call him Big Country with his chewing tobacco and red face, didn't want to listen to her, until somebody told him sometimes “Come on Country We want to get home sometime tonight.” and he laughed and sat down, and that old Lady bus driver, with her big painted face and heavy makeup, and her beauty mark, looking like she was still living in another time got that bus moving again through the darkened parking lot as the people rumbled about her, saying she was crazy, but maybe she is just taking care of an older invalid husband, and living on borrowed time, as she goes about her rounds, and going by the rules, as the bus keeps going on that route in the darkness, but in the back of the bus away from all the hub bub of the crazy bus driver giving people a hard time there are people talking and sleeping and getting on their phones like flashlights on peoples faces in the darkness and in that darkness there are people talking to each other. There is a tall skinny flight attendant just getting off the plane and new to her job looking fresh in the face and worried about trying to find a parking spot in this sea of cars that look out underneath those streetlamps in the shimmering darkness like as far as the eye can sea out there with planes coming and going on the hour into the night just like this bus that is going, as that skinny flight attendant looking like a deer in those headlights, on her frail but long brown haired frame with an angular nose with a kind of a Midwestern bent to her countenance tries to strike up a conversation with another flight attendant next to her that she had worked with on the plane and they had both got on the same bus. “It was really nice flying with you. I really hope we can do it again. Thanks for giving me all the pointers. I'm still learning.” as he looks at her and smiles to himself thinking she might not last at this job and as that skinny tall midwestern flight attendant is fretting about where she parked there is some people talking behind them, there is a young woman, talking to a man, that young woman is tired from working all day long. She is short and dark skinned, with a plump but lively face, her words are slow and country and maybe she is from the wrong side of town as she talks to that taller light skinned man, a man that seems like he had seen it all before, he's got a bald head, a sharp face like a card shark in a way, he might be from a big city up North like Detroit, as he asks her something, as the din of conversations are going on around them, some workers talking about sports or where they're going on their off days, or playing games on their high powered cell phones, or watching some show on those same cell phones, and that flight attendant in front of them are still talking as she still wonders where she parked as that dark skinned small girl and the sharped faced man behind are still talking after working in the bowel of the airport all day, and sitting in that break room where they had been conversing before they got on the bus “You ever thinking about getting married? You ever been married before” in his sharp Northern voice but with still a little bit of smoothness to it, “I thought about it. I guess nobody want to marry me.” as she is smiling like it is a joke. “I get lonely. Sometimes I just want to somebody to go to the movies with. Sometimes I'll be going by myself and just eating popcorn and sitting in the back all by myself.” as she talks in her real slow voice, in a drawl of this southern city, a monotone to it, like she is slow, and uneducated you might think, but something there in that drawl of this city and slowness that giver her beauty and sadness as she talks and smiles at that man that has seem it all, knowing that he is hitting on her, as he starts talking to her again, looking slyly at her with his sharp face and bald head in the light of the overhead bus light, “Let me tell you something. I've been married. I like this bachelor life. Don't anybody tell me what to do. I do what I want. If I feel like going to the movies and seeing a movie. I don't have to hear any whining about the movie were going to see. If I want to take a trip. I don't have to hear about somebody not wanting to go somewhere. I just go. And I can tell you what soon is my oldest is out of the house. That's it for me. I'm going to be going all over the place. Doing what I want. I cant tell you that. I like this bachelor life Girl.” as he gets down telling his words of wisdom, his little soliloquy to that dark skinned girl sitting next to him on the bus, with his sharp words and his sharp face, as she drawls on in her slow country accent, “I just get tired and want to get out of the house sometimes. That's all. But I got to take care of my kids. My oldest daughter she always wants to sleep with me now. I try and tell her to go sleep in her bed, but she always comes back and knocks on the door saying she wants to sleep with me because shes scared and I'm like ok.” and he gives her a sharp look with those dark eyebrows of his on his wiry but strong hunched over frame in his seat, “You got to break them of that. You can't let her do that. Shes got to learn. I always told my son he's got to do something for his self, because I'm not going to do it for him. He's got to be his own Man because his Daddy is not going to do it for him.” as the bus driver with the heavy makeup on her face, stops the bus for the first stop, as young men listening to music on their headphones stand up to get in line in the middle aisle of the bus, looking at the young flight attendant that is still talking to her other coworker and trying to find out where she is, as that effeminate man that was comparing the different places to work up at the worldport says, “Ill see you later Sally. I hope they don't kill us tomorrow. You know how these people are up here.” but those two that were getting into the depths of their lives in this slow prodding bus that makes these trips forever, making the rounds every day, with that crazy bus driver with the painted face, making these stops, and saying “Can I see your badge please. You need to sit down back there Gentleman.” as it all goes on as she moved to go to the next stop, as that short dark skinned girl from the country of this city with her slow moving ways and voice, is still talking to that sharp faced and sharp eyed man on that wiry hunched over frame, as a lot of empty seat were around them but they were still sitting together talking, as others had moved to get their own seats on the bus, so they could have their own personal space on this bus, on these cramped buses were you can smell the sweat of the other person sitting next to you on the bus after a long day, as they continue their conversation as the bus moves to the next stop in the gargantuan parking lot, that sketches with cars as far as the eye can see during the day, and at night looking like endless rows of streetlamps in that parking lot with a million odd cars for all the workers at this worldport, as that fight attendant in front of them continues talking and looking out the window into that parking lot wondering where her car is and feeling more lost by the second in this strange southern city with the strange voices in the darkness of the bus, her slim and tall figure in that red suit of a flight attendant is staring to be more fidgeting with darting eyes from her beak like face and straight auburn hair, as she grows more worried with that other man sitting next to her, a small man of a flight attendant like herself, close cropped hair, and somewhat a metro style, as he can tell she is starting to get more worried but in a way he doesn't care because this is old hat for him and he doesn't really care in his city suburban ways, “I'm so tired and I can't remember where I parked.” as her eyes dart back and forth as you can tell her nervousness, “Where did you park? I parked at C7, I think.” as he says something, as he looks at his phone, and she is worrying about whether she will remember where she parked her car, because in her profession, she might be gone for days, on her trip, and then she cant remember so she writes down the letter and she tries to remember it, but maybe as she gets that veteran vibe of the man with the metro style, and maybe she'll find it as she tries to remember and make small talk. “How long have you been working for the Company.” she asks, and he goes on about how the pay scale works and how he is making more money and how she'll get used to it, as more people start to get off the bus, and that small dark woman is telling more about her problems with her kids and with her Mamma, but now they are getting tired and getting ready to get off the bus as they are some of the last people on the bus besides that man who sells smoothies with his Giant Cooler as he gets up to move the Cooler off the bus because its his stop as he still is droning on to that older man as they both get off the bus together still talking about his process of how he makes those smoothies to sell in the loneliness of his life as they both say goodbye to that crazed bus driver, “Have a Good Night Sir” as they continue to talk as he drags his cooler to his car, and the rest of the people are getting off the bus because its the last stop and maybe you see in the darkness that midwestern flight attendant as you get in your own car, and you see her wondering about the parking lot in the darkness looking for her car, with a exasperated look on her face full of worry and tiredness, after her day of stress and learning on the job, with those darting eyes on her tall frame in her red uniform, wandering around that parking lot in the darkness, and maybe you see that single mother and that sharp faced man continue talking as that woman in her red suit passes them with that exasperated look on her face as she crosses the street and she almost gets run over by those cars that keep coming in the darkness past the security boxes with the sleepy indifferent security guards as she asks them for help in finding her car, but she gets those indifferent looks as she searches for her car in the darkness, as the crazy bus driver with the mole on her face and wig on her head goes back to make another round, in the darkness, as that flight attendant searches and the bus keeps on moving until the next day at the worldport that begins all over again.
beyond the grave like lazarus