DCA by brokensquare
Ah, the airport. Is it strange that I find it to be a magical place? It’s where people come together, some sharing the same flight, others departing to different destinations, but all part of a worldwide system that just somehow works. You make your reservation online, pack your tiny tube of toothpaste, roll in with your luggage, wait in line to check in, take your shoes off, watch as your cigarette lighter passes right through security, get to the gate and scope out your fellow passengers, grab some food to bring on the plane with you (since the days of free meals are long gone), turn your portable electronics off so as not to interfere with the plane that was built in the 1970’s, sit back, relax, help the person next to you with their oxygen mask before placing yours firmly around your nose, resist tampering with the smoke alarm in the lavatory, read SkyMall and wonder who actually buys this stuff. You gaze out the window and admire the polished wings, held together with rivets as they pierce through wispy clouds at speeds of over 400 miles per hour. Oh but wait – what’s that? Before you know it you’re placing your tray and seat back in their full upright position and the stewarde – um, flight attendant is welcoming you to Los Angeles. It’s magic I tell you. Without breaking a sweat, you’ve flown, through the air mind you, to the opposite side of the country.
But like most magic tricks, there’s more than meets the eye. While you were begging for an exit row seat and anxiously waiting for the gate attendant to call Seating Area 3, the ground crew was loading your luggage, stocking those $10 boxes of airplane food, fueling the plane, de-icing the wings, pushing it away from the gate, oh, and taking photos of the spectacular sunrises that bath the runways in deep hues of purple, orange, and yellow. Magic, I tell you.