Yellow and white polo shirts, stitched with the logos of technology resellers and stretched over expanding bellies. Holstered smart phones hanging from woven brown belts. Tan Dockers and tasseled penny loafers. We move slowly, maneuvering our carry-ons through the crowd like rolling sheep on a leash.
The smell of smoked meat and chargrilled hamburgers ordered wordlessly from computer terminals. Smoking is only permitted in the Blue Note Cafe.
This is America at its most complacent — eating its flesh in silence, obeying the overhead voices and permitting itself to be herded through the government machinery of security check. Remove your shoes, your belt. Hands in the air — enter the machine. Be still, wait for the scan. We move with amoebic precision bulging through the food court and funneling toward our TSA minders.
We gaze into out touchscreen phones, stroking them like a worry stone, thumbing through message after message. We wait for the next plane to take us to the next car, which we’ll drive to the next faceless inn and suites. We earn points, we earn miles, all piling up for that next dream vacation.
We are moving because moving pays the bills. Because moving provides the American dream — a family, a truck, a home — all perched on a clean, bright, chemical-fed lawn and filled with cheap luxury.
America, your flight has arrived. Please collect your personal belongings and proceed to concourse B, gate 15, for an on-time departure.
Photo: Memphis International, by Flickr user sgtgary. Used under a Creative Commons License.