London – March 2000
This fear always comes over me, whenever I am at the airport.
I don’t know if it is an obsession or a fear. It always comes while I am waiting for him, looking at other passengers. It is an obsession, without any reason.
I must buy him a suitcase or a coat, one which would be different from all other coats. I must do this otherwise, what I am most afraid of will happen.
My fear is that, he will arrive, pass me by and we won’t see each other. I keep looking carefully at every passenger, and then say to myself : what if he has been hanged ?
As the passengers begin to appear through the exit, my anxiety worsens. Maybe he is this one, but his hair is so white. Maybe during this time his hair has turned white. How could I possibly know, I wasn’t there.What if he has lost weight, Just like him, there the one dragging his suit case behind him.
No not this one, definitely. He could not have put on so much weight.
How about the one with the dark glasses, or the one with a camera around his neck?
What if he has cut his hair short, like before?
Or this one who drags his suitcase with him instead of using a trolley?
I haven’t seen that suitcase before.
What about the one with that hat? Is it him? May be he has put on a hat on purpose?
Someone is coming with a sunburnt face, is it him? You could get a tan if you stayed in the sun for a long time.
I’m not worried about the one with skiis, but what about the one on crutches?
It would have been better if we had arranged to wear particular clothes or colours, then I would see him at first glance.
With the speed these passengers are passing through, I am afraid to even blink. He could pass me by, in the twinkling of an eye and we’d lose each other.
What about the one who is coming now? I suppose it could be him. He looks so old. No it is not him.
But, what if he has had a very hard time.
I must buy him a suitcase, that is the best way. A shiny red suitcase.
It would be even better if I could afford an expensive one. They are very distinctive and not everyone has one.
But a red suitcase is a better idea, you can see it from a distance. I could see him from afar with no problem. No matter how late he was. As soon as I saw the red suitcase, I’d recognise him.
But perhaps he wouldn’t accept a red suitcase? May be he wouldn’t like it.
It is better if I buy him a special coat. I can easily recognise a coat. A coat that nobody else has. Then I’ll wait for him with peace of mind and no anxiety. I will be able to find him amongst a thousand people.
What if he does not recognise me? Who knows, maybe I have changed too. I won’t be able to tell. You don’t look at yourself every day in the mirror. You can’t see the changes.
Yes it is better if I go and wait in front of the gate.