In The Shadows

(///rugs.ranks.pies – Central Bus Station, Heathrow Airport)

I’m the one you never see. The one watching the tearful farewells and the joyous reunions, the pre-flight drinking sessions or the nervously nibbled croissants. I’m the one who sees everything.

It was never my dream, café work at the airport, but it’s been my greatest gift.

Where else could I have met lawyers and actors, footballers and artists, and learned from them as they munched their sandwiches and pies ahead of a long journey?

Where else could I have seen slapstick wrestling with impossible luggage carts laden with statues, giant rugs or surfboards?

Where else could I have heard promises of everlasting devotion as lovers are drawn asunder, or seen the ecstasy of grandparents meeting grandchildren for the first time?

Where else? Nowhere else.

So I finish my shift and then I wander up and down. Up and down. Departures. Arrivals. Trains. Buses. Shops. Cafes. Watching. Observing. Writing it all down.

All human life is here. I will drink it in. And one day, I will be ready to share.

And then my story will be the one taking centre stage. I will emerge clutching my Oscar, with the flashbulbs popping, my assistant wheeling my ludicrous luggage, the reporters waiting to hear how this triumph ranks against all my previous successes.

When that happens, I will remember to look in the shadows, to see who is there, watching, observing, writing.

Just to make sure I remember.


Why this location?