changi airport

Enlightened in a Foreign Comatose Airport

The world Bee had known shifted permanently when the woman rose from her prayer mat. It was 5:07am, in a foreign comatose airport halfway across her microscopic universe.

After 18 mind-altering hours on a plane, Bee couldn’t remember how to walk. Each step was its own careful performance as she dragged her body across the vertigo-inducing carpet. She felt like that dead guy from Weekend at Bernie’s. But without the other two dudes keeping her upright—no 1980s windbreaker and bushy mustache to help her out either.

Humming its mechanical song, the moving walkway carried nobody. Regardless, it glided forward on its devoted expedition.

People clung to shadowy edges, avoiding dim spotlights from the airport heavens above which mocked their undereye circles and ashy skin. Weird music floated across the cavernous terminal—failing to soothe, succeeding as an agitator.

Bee stumbled when she saw her, this veiled woman so beautifully grounded on her protected island. The top end of the woman’s prayer mat rested against the moving walkway. She pressed her slender, dark hands against the mat and sat back on her heels. Her mat was crooked, but she didn’t adjust it.

While everyone else avoided the unflattering overhead lights, she basked in her exclusive sunbeams. While everyone else waited impatiently for their journey to begin, she savored the journey that had already begun.

As Bee moved closer to the woman, she admired the tattered fabric of the woman’s prayer mat. It was starkly different from the foldable travel yoga mat in her checked baggage, used and loved in a way her scarless blue mat would never know.

Bee passed the woman and reached for life’s unreachable rewind button. She began scheming ways to binge-watch this one scene over and over again in the customizable pleasure she was used to on Netflix.

She eyed the moving walkway. The entrance was far away, about five gates to go. Bee considered hopping over the sticky handrails to catch the walkway going the other direction. Then, she could make up some time and get back to the woman on the prayer mat before she left.

Bee wanted to absorb the woman’s simplistic glow. But, she knew that wasn’t fair—none of that was meant for her. No matter how hard she tried, with her morning 8ish-minute meditation and semi-consistent westernized yoga practice, Bee would never be like her. Because she would forever be a spiritual pretender.

“Hey, you want coffee?” Mr. H pointed at the Starbucks in the fork in the airport road, gleaming beneath a brighter terminal spotlight.

Bee blinked twice. She couldn’t believe how decadent the corporate mirage smelled before her.

“I know. We hate to support Starfucks when we can buy from a local place. But I could definitely go for some right now.”

Bee managed the legitimate smile that was reserved just for him. Didn’t matter if she was sleep-walking through an airport, puking after too much red wine, or unable to form complete sentences after a hellfire workday. Mr. H always got the legitimate smile.

His disheveled, curly mop seemed to reach toward the promise of warm caffeine. Mr. H knew Bee wanted to skip Starfucks, search every obscure airport cafe and restaurant to unearth bitter coffee that didn’t arrive in that logoed cup…the holiday edition.

“Let’s grab some Starfucks, handsome.”

He never saw the woman rise from her prayer mat. But, the world Mr. H had known shifted permanently when he saw the familiar coffee conglomerate in a foreign comatose airport halfway across his microscopic universe.


Welcome to a new format on this blog called Real Life Fiction, where everyday experiences are shared through outlandish storytelling by yours truly. Hope you enjoyed it…more to come!

23 thoughts on “Enlightened in a Foreign Comatose Airport

  1. I enjoyed reading this, and seeing the yoga-posed woman in Bee’s eyes. I inspire to be that yogi, sunbeamed woman every day. When I’m at airports, I stand on one leg, eyes close, balanced and removed from the comatose people at the comatose airport. My mat isn’t tattered enough yet, but it’s getting there, it’s getting there.

    1. Airports can be so drab and uninspiring. It was beautiful to see this woman performing her usual ritual. I always get some yoga stretches in while I’m waiting for a plane. Difficult to meditate, but at least I can do some good things for my body.

  2. Wonderful description of what being inside a metal tube for hours at a time will do to ones mind. I have done the US to Asia entombment many times and it has taken molecules from my body that can only be recovered by several day of doing nothing afterwards. But most times the trip is worth the displacement. Love the photos of your time in paradise

    1. Displacement is the perfect word to describe everything. That was the longest flight and the farthest we have ever traveled. Very unique travel experience for us. Like you said, Bali gave us a reason to do nothing afterward as long as we liked.

      Coming home was a different story. That has been much more challenging. We’re finally getting into a groove though!

  3. Yes, why oh why, do airports have such crazy carpets? Great story. It does fascinate me how people do stop and pray just wherever. I wonder, in all the craziness of an airport, how she knew which way to pray; a smart phone app perhaps?

    1. I thought the stop and pray was fascinating as well. You likely see more of that on your side of the world than I do. Maybe she does have an app now. Seems like a smart way to pray in the modern age.

      I have no idea why the carpets are so insane. They remind me of Vegas casino carpets!

      Speaking of airport carpet…I know you’re on Instagram. Have you heard about how crazy people are about the Portland airport (PDX) carpet? They make all kinds of things from the pattern. You have to see it to believe it…

  4. What a great capture of a scene with time suspended and all around coming into unusual focus. Love this writing Britt. (I first thought Bee was, like, a bee 🙂 ) Look forward to future posts.

    1. Thank you, Roy! I was trying to bring more fiction back into my blog. Wanted to resuscitate it in a way that would be enjoyable creatively while aligning with being an author. Felt like I strayed from that over the past year or two. This feels good!

      Haha…I needed a name for my character that went with Mr. H. I have a few friends that have called me Bee for a long time.

    1. Thanks, doll! It was time to bring more creative storytelling back to my blog. Feels good to get back to my roots.

      We never go to Starbucks as we always try to support the little guys. Hence, the “Starfucks” nickname. Man, were we happy to see it that morning though!

    1. Good to see you, friend! Glad you enjoyed the creative switch. You always do such an amazing job sharing your experiences through an artistic lens. That’s why me and so many others are hooked.

      Right? We can all use some exclusive sunbeams in an airport.

  5. What a great read, Britt! It is wonderful to explore through the eyes of ‘Bee’ and see creative content potential wherever we are. Not everyone can escape to a world outside of a singular perspective and articulate it as eloquently as this. You remind us to keep our eyes open and pay attention to the small beauties that life, even in a boring airport terminal, can bring. Thank you for this!

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