Having just flew, even though it was domestically, I can reaffirm my distaste for the TSA and all manner of uncivil airport “security”-the officers of which it should be noted have failed to catch a single terrorist attempting to use a plane. That distinction belongs to various passengers and flight attendants.
The airport is a totalitarian space; sometimes the truth is hyperbolic.
You re-enter the United States, land of your birth, as part of the stream of arriving passengers. It is an everyday experience. You leave the airplane slowly, on stiff limbs, trickling with the mass of travellers into Newark airport.
The imperatives are issued as soon as you enter the terminal building. No smoking. No cell phones. Stand in line. Fill in your declaration form. Foreigner here. Citizen there. Wait behind the red line till you are called. The armed immigration officer checks your papers, holding the power to pronounce your worthiness to enter this sanctified space.
With the imperatives come the questions. Where are you coming from? Where are you going? As if the answers are clear. As if these are simple questions. The man with the gun, holding your passport, asks, “Where are you flying next?” But he…
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