Arrivals and Departures

“The whole discussion is ridiculous!” they said, and with that they hunkered down, hard as porcelain, bolted-down and sealed.

“Honestly, we don’t agree,” said the lights.

“Really!” the toilets said stubbornly, standing their ground. “An airport is an airport is an airport. An airport is a place for traveler’s to arrive and depart. An airport is the one thing in this world that can itself never depart, and it can never arrive somewhere else.”

The carpet throughout the airport agreed — carpet tends to be very conservative — and so did all the terminal’s seating, and for that matter all the signs. There is nothing that hates change as much as a sign.

We must accept reality,” the careful coalition said. “We are what we are, and we are obviously here to stay!” They proclaimed this vehemently, and they held their ground.

But the airport restaurants, the shops, lights, all the gates and the entire terminal structure, even the tarmac, rose up and aligned against the bathrooms, seats and carpet.

“Everything changes,” they said, and everyone and everything can choose to change. It’s in our hands” they argued, “It is our turn, if we want it to be.”

“Dream away, dreamers,” claimed the coalition of caution, “but it’s physically impossible for an airport to just get up and move!”

“No, it’s not!” shouted the hopeful collaborators.

“We are San Francisco International!” the bathrooms, carpets, signs and seats shouted back in unison. “That is all we will ever be!”

“Yes, we are, shouted all the restaurants, shops, signs, gates, buildings and tarmac, “but it is time to go to Paris!”

They chanted. The airport vibrated. “What was was but now no longer is!”

And that was that, and those with a will to change prevailed, and on November 27 at 4:45 pm, San Francisco International airport flew — the whole thing. The tarmac ripped from the ground in one solid, flat piece, carrying with it all the airplanes, trucks, crews, pilots and passengers on board. The terminal followed, lifting carefully, carrying with it the passengers, the employees the carpets and bathrooms, seats and signs — all flew.

The world reaction was all over the place — fear, astonishment, disbelief, wonder and some celebration, but once in the air, there was no going back. The momentum was toward Paris.

And when San Francisco International Airport arrived in Paris as an airport, it had to pass over Charles de Gaulle Airport — there being no place big enough to land — and settle to the ground in a field outside of Paris. Not one thing or one person was harmed, but despite what the signs said along the way, or what the bathrooms said they wanted — it was not longer San Francisco International Airport.

There was quite a stir about it throughout the world, and there was no agreement on how to explain it, or to put it to proper use, but one thing was certain; despite a widespread desire to figure the whole thing out, no one could, nor did any one have any ideas at all of how to get all of it back to San Francisco in one piece.

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