Alone Alone / by Alan Strathman

I am waiting in the departure lounge at the St. Lucia airport (Hewanorra International) for my flight to Miami and then to Tampa. Going back to the U.S. in April was surreal because I had become accustomed to life here.  U.S. life through "Lucianized" eyes is, literally, incredible. Even though I have only recently become Lucianized I stare with disbelief at many of the things I see: indoor malls the size of villages; price tags that I know are more than people here have made in their entire lives; the silly, random, unnecessary things that people buy. 

In addition to seeing my dad and Claudia, eating and driving are the two joys of returning to the U.S. As well as the ability to eat and drive without anyone noticing me.  I can blend in the U.S. in ways I cannot in a small village in St. Lucia. For all of us PCVs, the feeling of living in a fishbowl is a bit tiresome.

Anyway, what has caught my attention at the moment, as I watch tourists stream in to fly home after their vacation/honeymoon, is this: I am the only person in this entire airport traveling alone. Granted, it is not a huge airport.  As you'll notice below there are only five flights leaving this afternoon, though each flight will probably have 100-200 passengers.  And it strikes me that his is the first time I have ever been the only solo passenger at an airport. Most airports have thousands of travelers, many of whom are traveling alone on business. But here, without many business travelers.

I know how I arrived at this spot in life; that is, the spot of always traveling alone. And being here, existentially, is consistent with how I remember feeling my whole life.  I have been thinking existentially a lot lately, which should make anyone think, "Oh, no, what now?" It is nothing bad, just....well, just something. If I can figure out how to write about it I'll let you know.

As I said, there are only five flights departing this afternoon.  Here is the departure board.  See if you can identify what's odd about it:

Yes, North Carolina has become place where airplanes land. I'm not surprised. They have all seemed pretty confused in North Carolina lately.  What with all the concern about who's peeing where. My guess is that they really don't have any idea where the plane will land. I figure that because airplanes don't care who uses which lavatory, North Carolina is pretty ambivalent about having airplanes land at all. I think gender-specific travel will soon come to pass. Alternatively, we could just stop worrying about bathroom use. {P.S. I have no idea how this blog post turned political.}